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Are You At Risk By Not Using Credit Card Authorization Forms?

Aug 17, 2007
The credit card authorization form is used to process credit card purchases made when the credit card holder does not present the credit card physically at the point of sale. The credit card holder may take advantage of making purchases even if he or she does is not in physical possession of the card while making the purchase. This document is a useful substitute for the credit card as it obtains all the relevant information from the card holder and protects the seller by documenting the credit card authorization. The seller will generally expedite the purchase after receiving the information requested in the credit card authorization form.

A credit card authorization form needs to be completed by the credit card user to verify funds and make sure that the user has sufficient funds available to cover the transaction. Credit card authorization is the start of the settlement process for obtaining approval for all credit card purchases. In order to process the request for credit card authorization, a few simple steps need to be followed to protect both buyer and seller.

When a credit card is swiped at a point of sale terminal, all information relating to that card is obtained immediately. Following this, a credit card authorization form request containing information about the card as well as the transaction is sent to the credit card company. Another method of sending this information is by sending the credit card and payment information through the seller's payment device manually, which creates risk for both buyer and seller; a risk that can be mitigated by using a signed credit card authorization form.

Whichever method is used, the credit card authorization request is then transferred to the concerned processor company who then forwards it to the issuing bank. The credit card authorization system then verifies the validity of the credit card account, expiration date and amount of money in the account before proceeding further. The concerned bank then sends out approval or declination along with a credit card authorization number that is encrypted and forwards it over the Internet to the agency's Internet application. If the transaction is approved the funds needed are set aside and the whole process passes off smoothly with the issuing bank depositing the funds with the seller.

What does the credit card authorization form contain?

Typically, a credit card authorization form contains all the relevant information required to process the card holder's request to purchase an item through using a credit card. Most companies request customers to fill out a credit card authorization form and then fax it to their address, before completing the transaction. It should contain billing information, credit card information, the address for the card holder, and a security code to prevent credit card fraud. The security code is a 3 or 4 digit code, usually at the back of the credit card. If someone fraudulently obtains your credit card number, the security code ensures that the person also is in possession of the credit card, thus minimizing the risk of credit card fraud.

The Credit Card Authorization form, once filled out, enables collection of information by the credit card company for use in case of any disputes. It also allows the user to sign and enter into a transaction before receiving the service requested.

The form clearly spells out the charges to the user along with terms of service. The credit card authorization form enables the seller to obtain the purchaser's signature and although this is not the same as having the credit card present for the transaction, it does provide a reduction in risk and fees.
About the Author
Wade Anderson is a CPA and operates DigitalWorkTools.com

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