Preauthorizations and Linking Cards to Bar Tabs, Tables and Orders (TSR/QSR)

By Robert | Updated



A Preauthorization is an amount placed on hold on a credit or debit card until the merchant finalizes the amount. Linking cards with preauthorizations is a great way to ensure that a customer's credit card is valid. NOTE: It is possible to link a customer's card to a bar tab with or without a preauthorization.

With preauthorizations and linking cards, you have the option to return the card back to the customer after linking it. However, by keeping the card the user can easily pull up the customer's order by swiping the card on the Point of Sale. Either way, since the credit card information is linked to the order, it is possible to close out the order without the card at anytime.

A few key reminders:
  • Only USAePay, Intuit (1526+), Mercury, TriPos and Freedom Pay work with preauthorization or card linking.
  • Only available for Table Service and Quick Service clients.
  • Quick Service only allows linking cards to orders, it does not support preauthorizations.
  • If you are a Quick Service client, please contact Revel Support for additional assistance.
  • This feature will not work for clients setup with Capture On Swipe. Instead, you will have to perform a Manual Batch or set a time to Auto Capture.
  • In this article, we will explore how to use the preauthorization and linking card functions in both a Table Service Restaurant (TSR) and Quick Service Restaurant (QSR). There are some differences between the two, so depending on your account set up, refer to the sections relevant to your business needs.


How to Enable Preauthorization and Link Credit Card to Order

  1. Log into your Management Console [] and navigate to Settings. Click Clear Selections and search for "preauthorization". Check the box on the left to display the settings on the right:

    There are a few settings to consider activating here:
    • Allow Preauthorizations: Enable this setting to allow preauthorization when linking cards to an order. If unchecked, linking a card to an order will not prompt the user to run any preauthorization on the card. It is possible to set the preauthorization amount in the "Preauthorization Amount" setting. The user will still need to confirm the preauthorization, but also can manually type in a different amount.
    • Automate Preauthorization: If enabled, Revel will automatically preauthorize a credit card when linking it to an order. If disabled, Revel will ask each time if should preauthorize the card.
    • Preauthorization Amount - If preauthorization is enabled and an amount is entered here, Revel will authorize cards for the indicated amount. If left blank, the user will have to input the authorization amount each time.
  2. Now, on the Settings page, click Clear Selections again and search for "link credit card". Check the box on the left to display the settings on the right. Check the box on the right to Link credit card to order. Save when finished.
  3. Now you can preauthorize cards and link them to the customer's order.

How to Enable Bar Tabs in TSR

NOTE: Bar Tabs are ONLY available to establishments set as Table Service. If you need bar tabs and do not see this option, please contact Revel Support to activate.

In order to link bar tabs to credit cards, you need to activate the settings above as well as the ones below:

  1. Log into your Management Console and navigate to Settings. Click Clear Selections and enter "Bar" in the search bar. Check the boxes on the left next to Bar tabs and Pages of bar tabs for these settings to appear on the right. Check the box next to the feature(s) you want to enable:

    Once bar tabs are enabled, you'll need to indicate the number of pages of bar tabs you'd like to have. This is personal preference and based on capacity. However, each page will allow for up to 104 bar tabs to be created.
  2. Save when finished.
  3. Refresh each Point of Sale station for this feature to be available.

How to Link Cards and Preauthorize Bar Tabs and Tables in TSR

In Table Service Restaurants, you can only use preauthorization if a Bar Tab or Table is selected on the Point of Sale. If you try to create a New Tab and select a dining option, the Link Card to Order function will NOT appear.

To being, you must first link a card to a Bar Tab or Table. To do so:

  1. Open up the Bar Tab or Table screen:
  2. Select the Bar Tab or Table you need to link, then select Link Card to Order at the bottom:
  3. You will be prompted to swipe the customer's card to preauthorize:
  4. Next, depending on your settings, the system will either automatically preauthorized a set amount or prompt you to enter the amount you want to preauthorize. Once preauthorized, an indication will appear at the top of the screen letting you know the card is Pre-Authorized. If the balance due is below the preauthorized amount, this will be indicated in the Balance Due field by displaying PreAuth:
  5. When customer is ready to pay or settle their order, choose Pay. The balance due will be the order total minus the preauthorized amount. There are two options that will appear:
    • Finalize Payment: Charge the card the full total.
    • Cancel PreAuth: Cancels the preauthorization and allows another form of payment:pay.jpg


How to Open a Linked Bar Tab or Table

Once a card has been linked to a Bar Tab or Table, if the order is Held, it can be reopened via swiping the card on the Bar Tab or Table screen:


How to Link and Preauthorize a Card in the QSR

QSR establishments do not have the ability for Bar Tabs and Tables. Instead, as the name suggests, the use orders to quickly turnover business. To link and preauthorize a card in QSR establishments:

  1. From an order screen, select Link Card to Order below the order: IMG_0062.PNG
  2. You'll be prompted to swipe the customer's card to run the preauthorization: IMG_0054.PNG
  3. Depending on the settings, it will either automatically preauthorize a set amount or prompt to enter an amount.  Once preauthorized, it will indicate it below the order number.  If the balance due is below the preauthorized amount, it will indicate it by displaying "PreAuth" in the "Balance Due" section:IMG_0055.PNG
  4. Add items to the order.  When the customer is ready to pay, or settle their order, press "Pay".  The balance due will be the Total minus the PreAuth amount.  There are two options: finalize the balance due or cancel the PreAuth.
    • Finalize Payment: Charge the card the full total.
    • Cancel PreAuth: Cancels PreAuth and allows another form of payment.

NOTE: The $10.00 difference between the Total and Balance Due below is because, in this example, the PreAuth Amount is set to $10.00 in the Management Console. So, $10 was already previously preauthorized. IMG_0056.PNG


The following screens show the tip, signature, and receipt options that can be setup to prompt on the CDS:IMG_0058.PNG



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