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How does credit card pre-authorization work?

Last updated:
May 6, 2024

The pre-authorization checkbox is located on Setup > Payments in the campaign's dashboard.

How it works

If pre-authorizaion is enabled participants will be required to connect a digital wallet or enter credit card details before placing a bid in an auction or making a pledge. Pre-authorization is not applicable to buy now items such as raffle tickets, as payment is required at the point of purchase.

To check if pre-authorization is enabled on your campaign, and to edit the setting, go to Setup > Payments.

Note that credit cards are NOT automatically charged when the campaign closes. By default, notifications (including a link to pay) will be sent to participants with amounts owing. Processing payment is a one click process for participants. Alternatively they can choose to pay using a different card/method.

How to manually charge cards

Campaign administrators can charge individual credit cards manually. This is done via the Checkout Console in the campaign's dashboard.

This is the process. In the Checkout Console, search for the winner name. If the card is already on the account 'Charge card' will appear next to the participant's name and clicking this will charge the card on their account.


Alternatively, you can click VIEW INVOICE to charge the pre-authorized payment method.


Charge Showing in my account?

Your Participants may notice a small charge in their account that is canceled or refunded.
Note that this is how the card information is stored.
A very small charge is made when the participant enters their card details with the pre-card authorisation, once stored the charge is immediately refunded/canceled.
You can view these cancelled charges within your Stripe dashboard.

Best Practice Communication with Participants

Campaign administrators planning to charge credit cards manually should alert campaign participants by adding information about the process and the timing to the Terms and Conditions and or Item Descriptions. Edit Terms and Conditions in Setup > Registration. Here is an example of the potential wording.

When participating in this campaign you will be required to connect a digital wallet or add a card before placing a bid. At the auction close you will receive a link to view and pay your invoice. Note that credit cards are not automatically charged however, the auction manager reserves the right to process any payments outstanding more than 72 hours after the auction has closed.

Legal Considerations

Note that GalaBid is not able to provide legal advice. Consult a legal professional to ensure you are comply with local laws.