What is the difference between a void and a credit, return, or refund?

Many people are confused by what the difference is between a void and a return (returns are known by many names including: credit, refund, and sometimes erroneously as reversals.), but the difference is quite big and not hard to understand. Before you understand the difference, it is good to educate yourself by reading our article on how a credit card transaction actually works. After reading that article the below explanations will make a lot of sense!

Void: A void makes an authorized transaction that hasn't settled void. This prevents the transaction from posting to your customers card. This will, often times, still leave a "hold" or "pending authorization" on the card, but the charge will not post. This "hold" usually falls off after about 7 days. Some processors and banks support "reversing" the authorization. This means that the charge will not post and the card issuing bank (your customers bank) will release the "held" funds.

Return / Refund /Credit: A refund is performed when a charge has been completed and "batched out." Meaning you have finalized the transaction and you will be getting funded for it. A refund should be run if a transaction has already settled.