Transaction Types

PayPal assigns an single alphabetical code for each type of transaction. This code appears on the Transaction Results page and indicates the type of transaction, such as sale or refund, that was performed. The table below lists the transaction value and description for each transaction type.



Transaction Type



Payment / Sale / Debit

Charges the specified amount against the account, and marks the transaction for immediate funds transfer (capture) during the next settlement period.


Credit / Refund

Returns the specified amount (posts a credit) to the cardholder’s account.

To submit a Credit transaction, you must include either the credit card number or the Transaction ID that was returned for the original transaction.

If you submit a Credit transaction using the Transaction ID and do not specify an amount, then the amount of the original transaction is used.



Requests to charge a cardholder. An approved Authorization transaction reduces the cardholder’s open-to-buy amount (the amount that can currently be charged against the account), but does not actually capture the funds.

You must submit a Delayed Capture transaction to capture (settle) the funds set aside by the approved Authorization. If an approved Authorization is not settled within a certain period (determined by the issuing bank), it becomes invalid. The cardholder’s open-to-buy is typically cleared in 5 to 7 days.

  • You can process an Account Verification transaction to verify a customer's account information. For more information, refer to Account Verification.


Delayed Capture

Capture Marks the funds set aside by an approved Authorization transaction for capture during the next settlement period.

Merchants who do not ship goods immediately use this transaction type to collect funds when the goods ship.



Prevents an approved transaction from being settled, but does not release the authorization (hold on funds) on the cardholder’s account. Following are some guidelines:

  • You can void Delayed Capture, Sale, Credit, Authorization, and Voice Authorization transactions. You cannot void a Void transaction.

  • Void transactions can only be used on transactions that have not yet settled. To refund the customer’s money for settled transactions, you must submit a Credit transaction.


Voice Authorization

Some transactions cannot be authorized over the Internet (for example, high monetary amounts)—processing networks generate Referral (Result Code 13) transactions for such requests.

In these situations, you contact the support department of your merchant bank and provide the payment information as requested. If the transaction is approved, the bank provides you with a Voice Authorization Code (AUTHCODE) for the transaction. You include this AUTHCODE as part of a Voice Authorization transaction.

Once a Voice Authorization transaction has been approved, it is treated like a Sale transaction and is settled with no further action on your part.

Like Sale transactions, approved Voice Authorization transactions can be voided.


Submit for Settlement

For CyberCash merchants only. Enables you to manually submit all types of transactions for settlement.



Refers to a Prenotification payment (with no monetary amount transferred) that you can use to verify bank account validity. Receiving banks are not required to respond to a Prenotification payment. Prenotifications are not settleable payments, however they can be voided.