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Workflow Recipe: Sertifi Card Processing Versus Card Authorizations 

Sertifi’s authorization solution and payment processing solution have an obvious common link: a credit card. However, how and why our customers should use these solutions is quite different, so let’s dig into the nuances. 

Sertifi for Credit Card Authorizations

In a Nutshell: Pre-authorize Cards for Future Card-Not-Present Transactions 

Our authorization solution allows hotels to securely obtain credit card information using a digital authorization form. Authorization forms are common when the cardholder is different from the guest and will not be on property to pay for the service at hand. 

Using the form, the property gets the cardholder’s authorization to charge their card based on the cardholder’s personal preferences, such as the amount that can be charged, what services can be charged, and within which dates the charges can occur. 

An added benefit to using Sertifi for this process is our advanced fraud tools, which compute a risk analysis score for payment cards based on different variables that measure the likelihood of fraudulent activity, which you can use to decide whether or not to proceed with a transaction.  

Common Persona Using This Workflow: Front Desk or Reservations Team 

Action At Hand: The hotel receives authorization from a cardholder to charge their card based on the cardholder’s indicated preferences. 

Common Scenario/Use Case Example: Corporate Travel 

For example, a salesperson named Ellyn is going to be traveling for a business trip. Lisa, Ellyn’s colleague, will be booking Ellyn’s hotel stay and wants to use the company credit card to pay so Ellyn does not have to pay with her personal credit card. Lisa contacts the hotel, and the hotel sends her an authorization form to fill out on Ellyn’s behalf to authorize the hotel to charge the company credit card when Ellyn checks without the physical card. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Gathers credit card details in a secure manner 
  • Allows the cardholder to authorize their card to be charged during a stay and in accordance with their preferences, such as particular charges, charge amounts, and when the charge can take place 
  • Verifies cards to detect fraud risk early for card-not-present transactions

Sertifi for Digital Payments 

In a Nutshell: Process Cards for Immediate Payment 

Sertifi’s proprietary payment solution, SertifiPay, allows properties to create payment schedules and send automatic reminders for deposits to ensure that they are paid on time. It’s a convenient, secure way to collect deposits and final payments for groups and events. By collecting a payment at the time of e-signing a contract, you’re able to close sales faster and prevent online fraud with card-not-present transactions via frictionless authentication using 3-D secure.  

Common Persona Using This Workflow: Event & Sales Teams 

Action At Hand: Securely processing a payment approved by a client.  

Common Scenario/Use Case Example: Event Deposits 

For example, Devon is a sales manager at a hotel. He has been corresponding with Amy, who wants to book the hotel’s ballroom for an event. The ballroom’s rental requires three deposits: one at the time of booking, one two weeks before the event, and one two days before the event. Using SertifiPay, Devon sends Amy the event contract to sign and schedules automatic reminder emails to ensure deposits are paid on time. Each time Amy pays a deposit, she is required to authenticate her identity before moving forward with her transaction to ensure payment security. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Processes payments so it’s immediately deposited into your bank account 
  • Reduces missed payments 
  • Accepts ACH payments, a less expensive alternative to credit cards 
  • Cloning and refunding is available 
  • Schedules payments via due dates and reminders 

The Bottom Line: Why You Need Both Solutions 

Our authorization and payment solutions both require payment information to be shared and allow clients to do so in a secure manner. However, one is used to authorize a payment card to be charged and the other does the charging. 

While it’s possible to key-enter the card details obtained during the authorization stage to process a payment, we advise against it. Key-entering results in steep penalty fees because card issuers see it as a big red flag fraud is afoot. Processing cards as an ecommerce transaction, instead of a key-entered transaction, can save you thousands. 


With a more convenient signature and payment process, your clients will thank you with 90% faster turnarounds. Interested in learning more about how Sertifi helps hotels and venues succeed? 

About the author

Mimi McNulty

Mimi McNulty is a Marketing Generalist at Sertifi. While she makes a point to have a pulse on all things Sertifi, Mimi is responsible for the company's social media channels, event coordination, and blog. She also assists with content creation, creative marketing, content strategy, and internal marketing ventures. Mimi is a communication enthusiast with a passion for storytelling and media relations.