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Bar Tab and Pre-Authorization Troubleshooting

If you receive an error while running a pre-authorization or are having trouble checking out a pre-authorized card, review the troubleshooting steps below.

The pre-authorized card will not take the full transaction amount.

If pre-authorization is successful, you can process the amount held. If the full amount is larger than the initial amount held, Square will try to process the additional amount.

If the payment fails, remove the pre-authorized card and have the customer use a different payment method.

To remove the pre-authorized card:

  1. Tap Pre-authorized card ([card brand] __[last 4 digits]) on the checkout screen.
  2. Tap Remove pre-authorization to void the hold of funds on the customer’s card.
  3. Select the new payment method and process the transaction as normal.

Checkout error saying “Amount too high” when closing a ticket or “try a lower amount” when adding a tip at checkout.

Square may limit the maximum amount a payment can be increased. If an update request exceeds this limit, you will see an AMOUNT_TOO_HIGH error during checkout.

If you see this error:

  • Complete the pre-authorization amount and ask the customer to pay the additional amount with the same card or new payment method.
  • Create a new payment with the same card or a new payment method for the total amount.

To avoid this error on large tickets:

  • Close out the tab when it gets much larger than the initial pre-authorization and start a new ticket and pre-authorization
  • Hold the customer’s card instead of relying on pre-authorization
  • Replace the initial pre-authorization with a new pre-authorization after new items have been added to the ticket. A higher pre-authorized amount is less likely to trigger the amount too high error.