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About Split Transactions and Partial Authorizations

Split Transactions

Some merchants allow “Split Transactions.” A Split Transaction occurs when partial payment is made with a PEX card, and the remainder is paid either in cash, or with a second card.

If a cardholder wants to make a split payment, and the merchant allows it, then the cardholder can tell the cashier the amount to charge to the PEX card. This will prevent the transaction from being declined due to insufficient funds (if the total amount of the transaction is greater than the current balance on the PEX card).

Partial Authorizations

If a cardholder does not have enough funds to cover the full transaction amount, and if the merchant supports “Partial Authorization” functionality, then PEX will return an authorization response with an approval for a portion of the original transaction amount which is equal to the card account available balance. The remainder of the transaction amount can be paid with cash or with a second card.

The cardholder can tell when a partial authorization has taken place by looking at the card account transaction details. A partial authorization will have different amounts shown for the "Origin Amount" and the "Authorization Amount.”

  1. The "Origin Amount" is the full amount of the purchase as requested by the merchant
  2. The "Authorization Amount" is the approved (partial) amount returned to the merchant 


“Partial Authorization.” The Authorization Amount is less than the “Origin Amount,” which is the full amount of the proposed purchase.

The merchant may choose to decline a “partially authorized” transaction, where PEX does not authorize the full amount of the purchase. Or, the cardholder may not want to complete the transaction with a second form of payment (cash or another card). Either way, the transaction is not completed.

At this point, the merchant is required to send a message to PEX to cancel the transaction. Until the merchant cancels the transaction, PEX holds those “partially authorized” funds as a pending transaction, and they are not available to the cardholder.

But if the merchant does not cancel the transaction immediately, and the Administrator wants the cardholder to complete it, the Administrator can fund the card for the total purchase amount. When the merchant re-submits the transaction, it will be completed.

If the merchant has not canceled the “partially authorized” transaction in one hour, then call Client Services at 1-866-685-1898 to have the hold released. Give Client Services the cardholder name and the merchant name for that transaction.



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