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Credit Card Authorization Form Template: Approving Charges using Online Signatures

By: Steve Stormoen / Wednesday, August 6, 2014

This post was updated on 8/6/2014 to reflect the launch of RightSignature’s new Collect Payments feature.

Nearly all internet transactions take place using a credit card, but these transactions carry a degree of risk—the possibilities of credit card fraud and chargebacks threaten your business. To eliminate these risks, many businesses choose to safeguard credit card transactions with a document signed by cardholders giving permission to charge their cards. This document is known as a credit card authorization form.

What is a credit card authorization form? Read on to learn how to craft your own form—with a free credit card authorization form template for your use—and how to get your credit card auth forms signed quickly and easily online using RightSignature.

What is a credit card authorization form?

Credit Card Authorization Form. Click for full template.
Credit Card Authorization Form. Click for full template.
A credit card authorization form is a document, signed by a cardholder, giving a merchant or other entity permission to charge a specified amount to that card. A recurring credit card authorization form gives permission to charge a card monthly or on some other regular schedule. This signed document helps protect your business against chargebacks, in case the cardholder attempts to report a fraudulent or unauthorized transaction and have the charge reversed.

A credit card authorization form must include the following 4 sections:
  • Cardholder information, including full name.
  • Credit Card Information—but be careful. Depending on the technology you use, it may not be safe to collect your client’s full credit card number, expiration date, or CCV number on the authorization form. See below for more details.
  • Your business name, or the name of the entity that will be charging the card.
  • The cardholder’s signature.
Traditionally, the cardholder signs their name with a pen and paper—think of the receipt you sign each time you pay with your card at a restaurant. However, for transactions taking place over the internet, paper signatures are impractical: when payment can take place online with the click of a button, requiring a customer to print, sign, and return a paper auth form is a dealbreaker. Thankfully, an alternative exists: RightSignature digital signature software.

How to get your credit card authorization forms signed online

A credit card authorization form does not charge the specified credit card or process the payment—it simply proves the cardholder’s approval of that charge. With the Collect Payments feature, RightSignature is the fastest, most secure way to obtain the cardholder’s signature online and establish this proof.

RightSignature lets your clients fill out and sign your documents on any web browser or mobile device, instantly and securely. RightSignature does not process the credit card—it is designed to enable your customers to fill out and sign your cc authorization form online.

However, RightSignature's Collect Payments adds to this functionality by letting you add a special field for collecting your customer’s credit card information, which is sent directly to the online payment service Stripe. This feature allows for full PCI compliance on all your online signature documents and lets your customers sign a credit card authorization form and provide their credit card information for secure payment processing at the same time.

If you choose not to use Collect Payments, you can still use RightSignature to get your credit card authorization forms signed. If so, include a text field to collect only the last 4 digits of the credit card number. It is not necessary for the cardholder to include their full credit card number on the authorization form: to comply with PCI credit card security regulations, cardholders should enter their full credit card number only into a shopping cart, e-commerce, or merchant processing software system like Stripe. Collect Payments accomplishes this by adding a Stripe payment processing field directly onto your RightSignature documents.

This credit card authorization form template, created with RightSignature, turns your credit card authorization into a fillable, signable document online. Sign up for a free trial of RightSignature digital signature software, then ask our friendly support staff to enable Collect Payments on your account. Then, you can collect simple, efficient e-signatures on your credit card authorizations and other important documents. Here’s how it works:

First, choose your document. Create your own cc authorization form and upload it to RightSignature, or use the free credit card authorization form template provided here.
Next, choose your document signer. Input the cardholder’s name and email address, place the text fields and signature boxes your signer needs to complete, and click Send.
The cardholder then receives an email with a link to fill out and sign the credit card authorization form online, using any computer or mobile device. RightSignature electronic signature software guides them through the document automatically, so it’s filled out correctly on the first try, every time.
Collect Payments gathers your signer’s credit card information. As soon as your signer completes and submits your document, your signer’s credit card information is securely transmitted to Stripe, and a signed, completed version of your document is returned to you with a full document history and audit log.

Save more time with RightSignature

If your business requires a higher volume of cc authorization forms signed, you can setup your document as a RightSignature Reusable Template for faster sending, or a RightSignature Online Form to embed in your website.

With RightSignature handling credit card authorizations, you can combine the speed and flexibility of e-commerce with the security of a legally binding handwritten signature. Sign up today for a free trial, and see how RightSignature can help your business reduce chargebacks and retain revenue.

Disclaimer: This was not written by an attorney and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about the legality of your credit card authorization form, please consult your attorney.

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