📍 Bolt Help / Developer Resources / Payment Authorization / Pre-Authorization Sequence
Pre-Authorization Sequence
Learn about Bolt's pre-authorization sequence for cart and card authorizations.

Pre-authorization is a redesigned sequence that changes how Bolt works with cart and card authorizations. When a shopper select the Pay button in Bolt Checkout, there are two events which must happen for a successful order to occur.

Required Checkout Events

  • Credit Card Authorization
  • Order Creation in the Shopping Cart

Classic vs Pre-Authorization Sequences

Classic Sequence

In the classic sequence the credit card authorization occurs first. If the card is successfully authorized, the order is created in the shopping cart. Occasionally, the order creation is not possible, and then it will be rejected by the shopping cart.

The failure to create an order can be due to a variety of reasons, including:

  • A selected product is out-of-inventory.
  • An invalid shipping address was used.
  • An expired/invalid discount code was used.

When a failure occurs, it can result in failed webhooks, and will generally require manual steps to resolve the issue. This often involves merchant assistance.

Pre-Auth Sequence

In the pre-auth sequence, the order creation occurs first. This prevents the failed cart issue previously above and also reduces the chance of webhooks failures.

Reasons to Use the Pre-Authorization Sequence

  • Eliminates inventory errors
  • Enables real-time order processing to better match sales timelines
  • Improves customer messaging

Order Statuses

See your eCommerce platform’s overview article for a list of order statuses.

Custom Authorization Windows

An order fulfillment cycle may take longer to complete than Bolt’s standard 14-day authorization window. Use multiple authorizations to keep shopper authentication active throughout these fulfillment cycles and ensure repeated complete orders.

To do so, set up logic similar to the steps below to assess transaction details and payment method. Then, create rules to set appropriate void windows depending on the payment method.

  1. Authorize the transaction amount.
  2. Void the transaction within the authorization window.
  3. Create a new transaction and authorize the transaction amount again.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 as necessary to extend the authorization window and complete the order fulfillment cycle.


Things to consider when using multiple authorizations:

  • A void may appear in a shopper’s account as a duplicate of a pending transaction, which may cause confusion.
  • New transactions created for the purpose of re-authorizing may incur additional fees.

Examples of Pre-Auth Sequence

The two charts below each walkthrough a typical sequence with Pre-Auth. The walkthroughs go from when the shopper selects the Pay button, through the payment capture, and terminate with the final response to the customer.



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