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Understanding pending transactions

When you check your credit card or Flexi Debit Visa transactions in Internet Banking, you might see the word ‘pending’ beside some of your recent transactions. In the BNZ Mobile app, we’ve shortened this to the symbol (P)

What is a pending transaction? 

There are different types of pending transactions. Below are three common types you might come across. 

Transactions that haven’t been fully processed (sometimes called ‘authorisations’). 

  • Pending transactions that have been authorised by the retailer/merchant, but not yet billed to your account, e.g. something you bought online in the last day or two. 
  • The pending transaction will impact your available balance, and the final transaction will usually be fully processed within 2-3 business days. 

Holds (sometimes called ‘pre-authorisations’). 

  • Refers to a hold for an estimated amount on your credit card or Flexi Debit Visa account, if the amount of the final transaction is unknown, or the transaction has not yet been fully processed (i.e. before you receive the goods or services). This process is common practice with hotels, rental car companies, and transactions made at self-service/unattended fuel pumps. 
  • Sometimes you’ll see the ‘hold’ amount and the final transaction amount. Only one of these will be processed, the other won’t be charged to your credit card or Flexi Debit Visa account.
  • The hold amount will drop off once the final transaction is processed, or within 2-3 business days. If it doesn’t, contact the business/company/retailer. 
  • The hold will impact your available balance and available credit.
  • It will generally clear off your account within 2-3 business days. 

 Verifying your debit or credit card details 

  • Some merchants/retailer’s will check your credit or Flexi Debit Visa card details by placing a hold on a small amount on your credit card, usually $1. This $1 won’t be processed and will clear off your account within 2-3 business days. 
  • For self service fuel transactions the hold is normally for a set amount, often $150 or $200. Sometimes this amount will clear off your credit card or Flexi Debit Visa account immediately. If not, it will generally clear off within 2-3 business days. 
  • Sometimes you’ll see both the $1 and final transaction amount, if the final transaction amount is processed before the $1 hold has cleared. 

Things you should know about pending transactions

When a transaction is fully processed it might, in some cases, have different details to those that were on the pending transaction. 

Different merchant/retailer name

  • Sometimes the merchant/retailers exact details aren’t used for both the pending and the processed transaction, e.g. you might see an address rather than a merchant/retailer’s name. 

Different amount

  • If a transaction has been made in a foreign currency, the processed transaction amount might be different to the pending transaction. This is due to exchange rate fluctuations between when the transaction was made and when it finishes processing. Currency conversion fees (if applicable) will only be charged when the transaction is fully processed.
  • In the case of hotels and rental car companies, the final amount of the transaction may not be known until the end of the stay/rental period. 

You won’t see pending transactions on your printed or online (PDF) statements. Only processed transactions show on your statements. 

Pending transactions are excluded when exporting transactions (within Internet Banking) because details may change. They’ll be included in exports once they have been processed. 

You might see two pending amounts, or a pending amount and an actual amount, which might look like the merchant/retailer has charged you twice. Only one of the transactions should be fully processed. If this isn’t the case, you should contact the merchant to query the transactions. 

Querying pending transactions

If you see a transaction or details or a transaction you don’t recognise (pending or processed), you should, in the first instance: 

  • ask your other cardholder (if you have one) if they recognise the transaction
  • do an internet search of the merchant/retailer’s name or any other transaction details that you see (e.g. an address) to find out more about the business
  • contact the business to query the transaction. 

Contact us if the transaction is still a mystery to you, you have a lot of pending transactions, or if you have any questions and you’d like some help. 

If you think your credit card is being used fraudulently:

  • call our report line on 0800 735 901
  • from overseas, call +64 4 473 5901 (international toll charges apply, or you can call us collect from a landline).