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What Are Pending Transactions? Does Available Balance Include Pending Transactions? 

Pending transactions refer to purchases, deposits, or payments that haven't fully processed, deducting the amount from available funds while awaiting full clearance, typically occurring during money transfers between accounts or after credit or debit card usage.

by Tamilchandran

Updated Dec 08, 2023

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What Are Pending Transactions? Does Available Balance Include Pending Transactions?

What Are Pending Transactions?

A 'pending transaction' refers to an activity, such as a purchase, deposit, or payment, that is in the process of being finalized but has not yet completed or fully processed. This phase is often described as the transaction being "settled," "cleared," or "posted."

Instances of pending transactions commonly arise when the necessary funds are still in the process of moving between accounts. For example, after using a credit or debit card to pay for gas at a station or leave a tip at a restaurant, the transaction may initially appear as pending.

Pending transactions encompass cash, check, and direct deposits, electronic funds transfers (EFTs), and debit card transactions. Similarly, credit card activities, including payments and purchases, may also be classified as pending transactions until they are fully processed. Understanding the concept of pending transactions is vital for individuals managing their financial accounts, providing insight into the current status of various activities before they are officially completed.

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Does Available Balance Include Pending Transactions?

Yes, the available balance does take into account pending transactions. When a transaction is pending, the corresponding amount is temporarily deducted from your available funds. This reflects the portion of your balance that is earmarked for the pending transaction until it is fully processed. While the available balance provides an accurate representation of the funds you can currently utilize, it considers the impact of pending transactions on your immediate financial standing.

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How Long Does It Take to Clear Pending Transactions?

The time it takes for pending transactions to clear varies and depends on both the merchant and the credit card issuer. Generally, credit card transactions take up to five days to finalize. Different credit card companies have their own timelines for processing pending transactions. The processing time for credit card purchases is influenced by both the merchant and the credit card issuer.

  1. Cash deposits typically settle by the next business day.
  2. Check deposits usually post within two business days.
  3. Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs) through the ACH network may settle on the same or next business day.
  4. Pending credit card purchases may take up to three days for the merchant to receive and process the funds.
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What is the Impact of Pending Transactions on My Account Balance?

Pending transactions can temporarily impact your account balance or credit limit until they complete processing. While a pending transaction is underway, it may place a hold on certain funds, affecting your available balance—the amount of funds you can access. The current balance shown in your online or mobile banking app may not include pending transactions, leading to a potential mismatch with your available balance.

To manage this, maintaining your own records, such as using a checkbook register or a budget sheet, can be beneficial for accurate reference and financial tracking. Understanding the influence of pending transactions on your available funds is crucial for effective account management.

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Is Pending Transaction Same as a Hold?

Pending transactions are usually resolved within five business days, but credit card holds, known as pre-authorizations, differ. Merchants, particularly in industries like hotels and rental car companies, use holds to reserve funds on your credit card before a significant purchase.

Unlike regular pending transactions, credit card holds can last longer, depending on the merchant and the purchase nature. For example, a car rental might place a hold for the entire rental period, plus extra days. Understanding this difference is crucial for managing financial expectations accurately.

How to Solve a Pending Transaction Issue?

If you encounter a problem with a pending transaction on your credit card, the initial step is to reach out to the merchant directly. Contacting them allows for potential cancellation or refund of the transaction and provides an opportunity to address any inquiries you may have regarding the charge.

In cases where the merchant is unresponsive or fails to resolve the issue to your contentment, you can escalate the matter by filing a dispute with your credit card issuer. It's essential to note that you have a 60-day window to dispute any transaction on your credit card. Therefore, there's no need for immediate concern if you can't entirely resolve the issue while the transaction is still in the pending stage

What Are Pending Transactions - FAQs

1. What are pending transactions?

Pending transactions refer to transactions that have been initiated but have not yet been fully processed and finalized by the bank or financial institution.

2. How long do pending transactions take to clear?

The time it takes for pending transactions to clear can vary depending on the type of transaction and the policies of the bank or payment network. In general, typically takes between one and three business days.

3.  Can I cancel a pending transaction?

Once a transaction is marked as pending, you cannot directly cancel it. However, if you believe a transaction is unauthorized or incorrect, you can raise a dispute with your bank or financial institution for investigation.

4. Do pending transactions affect my account balance?

Yes, pending transactions do impact your account balance temporarily. While the funds for pending transactions are still in the process of moving between accounts, they are considered as part of your available balance, affecting the funds you can currently access.

5. Why are pending transactions important to monitor?

Monitoring pending transactions is crucial to ensure the accuracy and security of your account activity. It allows you to detect any unauthorized or erroneous transactions early on and take appropriate actions to protect your finances.

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