Mastercard and Maestro authorisations

You can flag Mastercard and Maestro non-zero value authorisations as either a final authorisation or a ‘pre-authorisation’. The authorisation feature has its own fee structure, and only applies to merchants in the European region.


Final authorisations

You code an authorisation as 'final' if the goods or services can be dispatched and the transaction cleared (sent to the card processor) within four working days of the original authorisation request, for the full and final amount (which must be greater than zero).

After the authorisation is requested, you may no longer cancel the transaction, other than by performing a refund. This excludes any technical failures before the transaction completes.


You code an authorisation as a 'pre-authorisation' any time that you are holding funds in a cardholder's account for more than four days after the original authorisation date, or where you are estimating the final amount of the transaction (which must be greater than zero).

With pre-authorisations, a payment guarantee period is required for up to 30 days, and you must offer the cardholder the option to pay by an alternative means at completion. Pre-authorisations have to be reversed within 24 hours of a transaction cancellation.

Automatic pre-authorisation flagging

If all your authorisations on a specific merchant code have to be pre-authorised, but you can't make the appropriate change to your XML submissions, you can arrange for us to flag all authorisations (on this merchant code) as pre-authorisations. To do this, contact your Relationship Manager.

Authorisation defaults

Any authorisation you submit to us which has no finality coding (final or pre-authorisation) will be flagged by us as a final authorisation when submitted to MasterCard or Maestro. Authorisations not coded correctly (either 'final' or 'pre') will incur a financial penalty, in accordance with the Mastercard integrity fees structure. Contact your acquirer for information on the fee structure that applies.

Coding the authorisationAmountStatus element

Applies to the ECMC-SSL and MAESTRO-SSL payment method codes only.

Value attribute

Entered values for the <authorisationAmountStatus> child element are estimated (for pre-authorisation) and actual (for final authorisation).

Example: estimated

        <!--payment details go here-->
        <!--shopper details go here-->
      <authorisationAmountStatus value="estimated" />

Example: actual

<authorisationAmountStatus value="actual" />