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What are pending transactions?

What are pending transactions?

Some payments, cash withdrawals or deposits appear as pending on your account until a transaction is fully processed. And this can cause some confusion – you may think that a payment hasn’t been successful, or you’ve been charged for something twice.

Here's some information to help you understand pending transactions and the steps to take to raise a dispute.

How they work

When a transaction is authorised it is confirming to the merchant your card is valid and there’s money in your account to pay for what you’re buying. The transaction amount is then deducted the transaction from your available funds and the transaction shows as pending on your account until the payment process is complete.

Deducted from available funds

The amount marked as pending is deducted from available funds not your account balance. If you want to know how much money you really have in your account look at your available funds.

Usually takes 5 business days

Pending transactions generally take three to five business days to process. Although some can take up to 10 business days.

Pre-authorised payments take longer

If you allow a merchant to use your card for pre-authorised payments, things like a security deposit for a hotel booking or car hire, expect to wait up to 31 days for your payments to be credited back to you.

Appearing as pending and complete

In some instances we may authorise your card transaction but the merchant may not process the same transaction immediately.

e.g. you order four items costing $25 each and the merchant asks us to authorise a $100 payment. This appears as a pending transaction. One of the items is ready for delivery before the other three, so the merchant completes that $25 transaction. You’ll see $25 deducted from your account balance while $75 stays as pending.

On occasion, the amount processed to your card may be different to the amount of the authorisation. This is called an outstanding authorisation and will appear as a pending transaction. Read more on this.

Something looks unfamiliar

If you don’t recognise a transaction check the following first:

  • A purchase made by an additional cardholder
  • From a business who trades under a different name from the one shown in your transaction history. A quick Google search can often help identify the merchant
  • A pending transaction (payment already deducted from your available balance but still being processed)
  • A conversion rate applied to an international purchase
  • A regular membership or subscription fee.

If it’s none of the above we can help you dispute a transaction.

You need to wait until the transaction is complete and is no longer a pending transaction if you wish to dispute it.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice.