Changes to Mastercard Authorization Handling

Braintree is making required changes to Mastercard authorization handling due to recent updates to Mastercard rules. While this will not cause interruption in day-to-day processing for most merchants, we wanted to make sure that you’re aware of the updates.

The most significant change is that Braintree will begin sending two different Mastercard authorization types: preauthorization and final authorization. Braintree will determine and send authorization types based on the following logic.

1. Preauthorization

Preauthorizations are used for all non-recurring transactions (more on Recurring Billing below). Preauthorizations:

  • Can have a settlement amount less than the amount authorized.
  • Expire after 30 days (previously 10 days). You’ll now have more time to void or submit for settlement; however, we recommend that merchants submit for settlement as soon as possible after an authorization. Note that expiration timeframes vary by payment method type.
  • Are passed with an "E-Commerce" ECI flag to indicate to the customer’s issuing bank a one-time ecommerce transaction.

    2. Final authorization

    Final authorizations are used for all Braintree recurring transactions and transactions manually passed as “recurring” (more on Recurring Billing below). Final authorizations:

  • Must have a settlement amount equal to the original authorization. You’ll now encounter a validation error if you attempt to settle for an amount other than authorized on recurring transactions.
  • Expire after 7 days (previously 10 days). You’ll now have fewer days to submit for settlement. Again, note that expiration timeframes vary by payment method type.
  • Are passed with a “recurring” ECI flag to indicate to the customer’s issuing bank a recurring ecommerce transaction.

    Recurring Billing

    If you don’t sell subscriptions, read no further. If you’re unsure if your business fits the bill for subscriptions, read on. The following is a reminder for merchants who have a subscription business model, regardless of your setup (Braintree’s Recurring Billing or a third party integration).

    The card brands generally define subscriptions as multiple transactions processed at predetermined intervals, not to exceed one year between transactions, with notifications to cardholders before the charges (see Visa rules here and Mastercard rules here for more specific definitions). If you’re using Braintree’s Recurring Billing service, we do all the work of ECI flags and authorization handling for you. If a transaction is part of a subscription service not provided by Braintree, you must manually pass recurring as true via the API. It is in violation of card brand rules to pass the “recurring” ECI flag on a transaction that does not follow these guidelines, and doing so may result in fines. For more information on passing recurring ECI flags, see our developer docs.

    If you have any questions about these changes, please reach out to

  • ***
    Customer Advocacy Team We're here for our merchants. Whether it's the Support team helping to solve problems that range in complexity, or Account Managers who wield analytical skills with flair -- we've got it covered. More posts by this author

    You Might Also Like