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The e-commerce.

Onine payment for reservations


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Need a suggestion on this:


Let's say I set a system that use a Payment Gateway to charge credit cards for reservation purposes; i.e. a customer calls and to book a table in my restaurant; I charge the credit card for 100$ but only to hold the amount, just as a warranty; when the customer comes I want to cancel the hold, then the customer can pay as he likes (cash, cheque, cards ..); if the customer doesn't come I just want to actually keep the money and so confirm the pending transaction.


- Does this makes sense?

- Is "money holding" supported by standard payment gateways? Should I use a standard payment process and then cancel it? Transaction cancellation can be done through gateways APIs?

- Do I have to pay for two transactions every time? (when I hold/charge it and when I cancel it)

- In my real scenario about 90% of the transactions would be cancelled that means my real credit card business volume is only 10% of the declared volume; wil this affect the discount rate I can get from the merchant account provider?

- Anyone knows a smarter method to this?


thank you again!

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Have you tried any of the new PCI compliant manual super gateways? Can only think of two - http://e-path.com.au and http://payecom.com


They are ideal for your requirements. I know E-Path is very big in the tourism industry here in Australia. They are manual payment gateways so they do exactly what you are after, take the authorisations only, you then transact into your merchant account manually. They are also a lot cheaper than "real time" payment gateways and e-Path works brillantly with osCommerce.


Check them out.


Cheers for now

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thank for you reply,


I checked those services: if I'm not wrong they accept credit cards presenting a form running on SSL just like a standard online payment and then they store the card information on their server and send you an email; you then use their online tools to retreive the info, you manually check them, and make a "real" transaction using your existing merchant terminal.

This can be useful for small website that want to offer online payment still using an existing merchant terminal avoing the payment gateway costs (not usualy the high part); you still have to pay the Merchant Account fee and discount rate; in addition I think you could implement something similar by your self adding on your website a module to store credit card info.

I didn't see any information about verifying or authorizing the card that means a website user will get a confirmation even if the card data posted is not valid.

By the way, i don't think this can help me; in my situation I'm receving the reservation on the phone so there is no need to use any external service to store card info and retrieve them later; I can directly key the card info into a terminal.


What I need is to understand if there is a payment gateway or even a Merchant terminal that allows me to put an hold on the money and then confirm or cancel this; possibily I'd like to make it automatically from my program.

I mean I'd like to do the same thing as Car Rentals companies; when you book a car they ask you just the credit card e start a transaction that is completed whe you return the car; how do they do this?


thank you again.

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