An attempt to test a cardholder’s credit card for validity and credit limit before processing a sale transaction to protect the merchant who presumes the credit card to be valid before rendering service, as in the case of a hotel offering advance reservations or a bar offering a tab to patrons. Credit card terminals have this option, which may be called “Auth Only,” which generates an Approval Authorization Code if successful, and can later be used with a Forced Sale to complete the transaction.

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