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Handling complex payment scenarios

This section shows how to handle payment scenarios that are more complex than the payment scenario shown in the step-by-step walkthrough.

In this section

Split payments

In a split payment scenario, a buyer spreads the total payment amount for the order across multiple individual payments. For example, if you provide unique, built-to-order items, you might want to get a partial payment up front and then capture the rest of the payment when the order is completed.

Another case where split payments are useful is when a buyer's order is sent out in multiple shipments and you capture funds as each shipment is sent out. This payment model is supported in Amazon Pay and Login with Amazon as shown here:

In this example, the Order Reference object is confirmed at the time of the order, and an initial shipment is sent out within seven days. You can request the first capture when you send out the first shipment. After another 30 days pass, you call the Authorize operation again. Finally, you call the Capture operation a second time when the second shipment is sent to the buyer.

Amazon Pay and Login with Amazon supports this split payment scenario by allowing you to submit up to 25 Authorize requests against the Order Reference object, allowing you to map these payment events to your internal business processes. Any Declined or Closed authorizations without any captures don't count toward the limit.

Deferred payments

In a deferred payment scenario, a buyer places an order with you online, but you do not capture a payment from them until a specific milestone is met. For example, if you allow buyers to pre-order items, or if an item is back-ordered, you might have a business policy that you don't collect the payment until the item ships.

Assuming that your company's policy is to collect the payment when a back-ordered item ships, you don't execute the Authorize call until the item is available, and then you call the Capture operation when the item ships. The deferred payment scenario looks something like this:

The illustration shows that the order was placed and the Order Reference object was confirmed, but the Authorize operation was not called until the item was available in stock and ready to be shipped. The call to the Capture operation is made when the pre-ordered item is shipped to the buyer.

Amazon Pay and Login with Amazon supports these scenarios by keeping a confirmed Order Reference object open for 180 days (in both Production mode and Sandbox mode). This 180-day period enables buyers to place their orders, but you don't have to make the Authorize operation call until you're ready to ship the order and collect the payment.

Immediate charge

When you want to immediately charge the buyer after the buyer places the order and you have confirmed the order reference to Amazon, you can immediately call the Authorize operation, and, after the Authorization object moves to the Open state, call the Capture operation. Or you can call the Authorize operation and set the CaptureNow request parameter to true. This approach is useful when you fulfill your items soon after taking the order, for example, on the same day.

This payment scenario looks like this:

The illustration shows that the charge occurred as soon as the buyer confirmed their order and the Order Reference is confirmed. The item is then immediately shipped to the buyer.

Note: Amazon Pay policy states that you charge your buyer when you fulfill the items in the order. You should not collect funds before fulfilling an order.