Can a Pending Transaction Be Refunded?

Pending Transaction

When you initiate a purchase with your debit card, the money doesn’t immediately leave your account. Instead, the transaction usually appears as “pending” until the merchant verifies your card details and your banks makes the necessary payment. During this period, some of us may have a change of heart and want a refund; but is this really possible?

A pending transaction can be refunded if declined or cancelled. An individual cannot cancel this type of transaction without the consent of the merchant or bank. Refunds are always made available within a week depending on the bank and the card issuer.

Pending transactions are transactions that are yet to be processed or completed, while posted transactions are usually the opposite. Sometimes, things go north, and we find ourselves seeking a refund from an outstanding transaction. While this isn’t an easy act to pull off; with a good reason, coupled with corporation from your bank and the merchant, you’ll get a refund. In this article, we’ll be talking a lot on the matter of getting a refund from such transactions.

Can a Pending Transaction Be Refunded?

Outstanding transactions are basically transactions that are yet to be processed by the merchant. If you buy a product online, the transaction doesn’t happen immediately. A few checks are required to ensure that you have adequate money in your account before the transaction can be processed. There is also the need to check if the details provided correlated with that on your bank record. All these checks take time, and it usually ends with your bank paying the merchant and the transaction is marked as posted.

Several things can go wrong during the pending period. Some individuals end up changing their mind for one reason or another, thus resulting in the need to cancel the order to get a refund. Sometimes, issues arise with the product resulting in a cancelled order initiated by the merchant. All these usually result in people asking this important question “Can an outstanding transaction be refunded?”

First off, it is essential to note that it is impossible to cancel such transactions from your end. Such can only be initiated by the merchant and on rare occasions, your bank. If, for instance, you discovered an unauthorized transaction on your bank app, you can make a complaint to your bank who will freeze the transaction and carry out further investigation to determine if it’s a fraud case.

Now, back to the question “Can a transaction which appear as pending be refunded?” Such transactions can be refunded under a few circumstances. For instance, if an outstanding transaction was reversed, you’ll be refunded within a week. However, it is essential to note that you can’t request for a refund on such transaction on an unfound basis. One good reason to request for a refund is if you didn’t make the transaction. In that case, you can contact your bank who will look into the matter. If things go well, you’ll get a refund.

When Will the Refunds of a Pending Transaction Appear in Your Account?

One thing most online shopper fear is not receiving refunds for a failed transaction. You see them always checking their balance to see if the refunds have been made. Or sometimes they check their emails for updates regarding the refund. While those who aren’t patient enough proceed to call the involved parties. At this point, I think its best we address the issue or the common question “When will the refunds of an outstanding transaction appear in my account?”

You will receive a refund of a pending transaction after all have been finalized. It takes 24 hours, sometimes, less. Generally, it takes about 2 business days or at most a week for refunds to be released back into your account.

When you are due for a refund from an outstanding transaction, the money won’t be sent to you immediately. For instance, if the transaction was declined, you become eligible for a refund. The time it’ll take for the refund to appear in your account depends on the bank you operate including your card issuer. Some banks make a refund within 24 hours while others make refunds within 48 hours. However, you’ll always be advised to wait for around 7 days (max) before you receive your refund.

What if I Don’t Receive a Refund From a Pending Transaction?

Being eligible for a refund and not getting one can turn out to be one of your worst nightmares, especially if the money involved is huge. When an outstanding transaction is declined, and you become due for a refund, the money is usually released into your account within 7 days (max). However, in the event you don’t get a refund within that time, what do you do?

When you don’t receive a refund from a pending transaction, you’ll have to contact your bank and follow whatever instructions they provide. They may request certain information or detail regarding the payment, so ensure they are available.

The wait for a refund can be very long, or short, depending on the bank or card issuer. Normally, it takes about a week for a refund to be initiated, anything more than that signifies a red flag. Keep calm and contact your bank, who will conduct necessary checks to determine where the issue is. However, before you take such a step, you may want to determine if the charge is still displayed on your statement or if weekends were added in the authorization hold period.


Outstanding transactions are common, especially in the modern era we find ourselves. Sometimes, these transactions fall through, leading to the question of receiving a refund. A refund will surely be made, especially if the transaction was cancelled by the merchant.

A refund is usually made within two or seven days depending on the bank you operate or the card issuer. In the event that you don’t get a refund after 7 days, the best action to take is contacting your bank.

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