Where your customer decides not to complete their purchase or where you are unable to fulfill an order you can quickly release the funds you authorized on your customer's card by voiding the authorization using the void command.
Although your authorization will eventually expire automatically, you should consider voiding the authorization you hold on your customer's card if your customer decides not to complete their purchase. Doing so gives your customer faster access to their funds.
When should you use the void command?
Merchants use authorization as a distinct step before capturing an amount to ensure that a customer has the funds available to pay for a purchase, but without charging the customer's card.
Choosing to simply authorize rather than charge the card via a purchase transaction can be a good choice where you are uncertain about the final purchase amount, or about your ability to fulfill an order.
The benefit of the authorization command is that you can void the authorization thereby giving your customer immediate access to the funds that you had authorized. In contrast, a refund can take longer to process.
So, you could choose to void authorization if you realize that you are unable to ship the items your customer had purchased.
Difference between a void request and a refund
Voiding authorization is not the same as issuing a refund because the authorization step alone never transferred any funds to your merchant account.
By using the void command, you simply release the funds your ringfenced on your customer's account so that your customer can use the funds for a transaction elsewhere.
However if you executed a capture command or indeed a purchase command you will need to use the refund command to return funds to your customer.
Go to the full API reference
On this page we discussed why you would want to void a transaction and what happens when you send a void request. You can read more about exactly how the void request works in our API reference.
Need further help?
If you get stuck feel free to get in touch with the Amazon Payment Services team. Just message our support team at email@example.com.