The subject invention relates to a transaction system wherein the issuer of transaction cards can regulate the type of authorization requests transmitted from the point of transaction. The system includes a plurality of transaction cards, each of which are provided with risk assessment data associated with each cardholder. The system further includes a plurality of terminals, each terminal having the ability to read the information placed on the transaction cards. In operation, the risk assessment data is used to generate a pending transaction limit. The amount of the transaction is compared to the pending transaction limit by the terminal. If the transaction is approved, the terminal will issue an automatic, off-line authorization. If the transaction does not fall within the approval range, the terminal will function to transmit the transaction information to the issuer for evaluation. The issuer can then determine whether to authorize the transaction based on its own data base.