Here you’ll find an easy introduction to charging credit cards with Authorize Sauce. We’ll take you through the basics of charging, saving cards, and creating recurring payments.

For the full scoop on interacting with the Authorize Sauce client, see the Authorize interface documentation.

First, some terminology

The payments world uses some pretty wonky terms for working with credit cards, so let’s define our terms right up front.

The credit card is first authorized for the given transaction amount, and if approved, is automatically submitted for settlement. This is very much like when a store clerk swipes your card at the register.
The credit card is temporarily authorized for a given amount without actually submitting it for settlement. This allows you to guarantee you’ll be able to charge the card, but to hold off in case you later need to release the authorization or charge a lower amount. This transaction is not completed until you explicitly submit it for settlement.
A previous authorization transaction is submitted for settlement. This can be for any amount up to the original authorization amount.
Cancel a previous authorization transaction.
Refunds part or all of a previously settled transaction. (Note that it must actually be settled, not just submitted for settlement. This can take up to 24 hours.)

Initialize the client

Whatever you plan to do, your first step will be to create the AuthorizeClient instance using your API login and transaction key:

>>> from authorize import AuthorizeClient
>>> client = AuthorizeClient('285tUPuS', '58JKJ4T95uee75wd')

Charge a credit card

Using the client, we can now create a CreditCard object and create a $100 charge with it. We’ll also store a reference to the transaction just in case we need to refund it later:

>>> from authorize import CreditCard
>>> cc = CreditCard('4111111111111111', '2018', '01', '911', 'Joe', 'Blow')
>>> transaction = client.card(cc).capture(100)
>>> # Save the uid for this charge in case we need to refund it later
>>> transaction.uid

Oh crap, someone wants a refund. That sucks for business, but at least it’s not hard to do in Awesome Sauce:

>>> # Reference the transaction from earlier
>>> transaction = client.transaction('2171830830')
>>> # Refund the earlier transaction, passing in the last four digits of the card for verification
>>>'1111', 100)
<AuthorizeTransaction 2171830830>

Authorize a credit card

If you want to simply authorize a credit card for a certain amount, but don’t want to actually settle that charge until later, we make that easy too! Let’s start by authorizing a $100 payment:

>>> cc = CreditCard('4111111111111111', '2018', '01', '911', 'Joe', 'Blow')
>>> transaction = client.card(cc).auth(100)
>>> # Save the uid for this auth so we can settle it at a later date
>>> transaction.uid

So let’s say we’ve rendered services and we’re ready to settle that $100 transaction from earlier. Easy:

>>> # Reference the transaction from earlier
>>> transaction = client.transaction('2171830878')
>>> transaction.settle()
<AuthorizeTransaction 2171830878>

But what if the total your customer owed came out to be less than that original $100 authorization? You can just as easily capture a smaller amount than the original authorization:

>>> # Reference the transaction from earlier
>>> transaction = client.transaction('2171830878')
>>> transaction.settle(50)
<AuthorizeTransaction 2171830878>

Save a credit card

Let’s say you want to save a customer’s credit card to make it easier for them to check out next time they’re on your site:

>>> saved_card = client.card(cc).save()
>>> # Save the uid of the saved card so you can reference it later
>>> saved_card.uid

Now all you have to do is save that uid in your database, instead of storing sensitive credit card data, and you can charge the card again later.

>>> # Reference the saved card uid from earlier
>>> saved_card = client.saved_card('7715743|6744936')
>>> # Let's charge another $500 to this card for another purchase
>>> saved_card.capture(500)
<AuthorizeTransaction 2171830935>

If your user ever requests that you delete this card from its secure storage on’s servers, we can do that too:

>>> saved_card = client.saved_card('7715743|6744936')
>>> saved_card.delete()

Create a recurring payment

Next you decide you want recurring revenue, so you’re going to charge your users a monthly $20 subscription fee starting Dec 1, 2012. This is simple to set up:

>>> from datetime import date
>>> card = client.card(cc)
>>> card.recurring(20, date(2012, 12, 1), months=1)
<AuthorizeRecurring 1396734>

Again, if you want to update the recurring payment, this is easy to do. Let’s say we need to increase the monthly rate to $25:

>>> # Reference the recurring uid from earlier
>>> recurring = client.recurring('1396734')
>>> recurring.update(amount=25)

And if the user cancels their service, we can end their recurring payment:

>>> recurring = client.recurring('1396734')
>>> recurring.delete()

There are many other available options when setting up recurring payments, such as trial periods and limited number of payments. For details, see the AuthorizeCreditCard.recurring method documentation.