Can You Pay off Pending Transaction?

Transaction which appear as pending

When you initiate an online transaction with your debit card, the money doesn’t leave your account immediately. Instead, it’ll appear in your account as a pending transaction until the necessary checks have been made after which the transaction will be posted (complete). The pending duration, which is usually two to seven days, can keep you on your toes. Sometimes, however, people usually take a usual route by paying off the outstanding transaction; leaving us with the question, can you settle an outstanding transaction?

You can pay off a pending transaction, or you can decide to wait till the unresolved transaction period is over, and it falls off. However, if you are doing the former, you must ensure that you have an active account.

Outstanding transactions are a common occurrence. You purchase a TV set online thinking that all has been settled, only to check your banking app to discover a “pending transaction”“. The same thing happens when you book a hotel or a flight. The transaction is displayed as pending and falls off after the payment has been processed and approved. Sometimes, rather than wait, you may want to clear the outstanding transaction. However, to do so, it’s essential you know the facts, and we’ll be discussing them below.

Can You Pay off Pending Transaction?

An outstanding transaction doesn’t in any way indicates a failed transaction. Rather, an unresolved transaction is simply a transaction that has is yet to be completely processed by the merchant or retailer. A pending tag is usually placed on a transaction to give the merchant enough time to conduct necessary checks and evaluations. Some of those checks or inspection are done to:

  • Determine if you have sufficient funds for the transaction
  • Determine if your card is valid
  • Determine if the information provided correlates with that on your bank record
  • Determine if you initiated the transaction outside your card issuer business hour

The checks mentioned above are usually done over 2 to 7 days after which the pending tag will be removed, and all will return to the way it should be. However, the duration may vary based on several factors, including the time it takes for the merchant to process the payment and the time the transaction was made. In the situation where you used your card to make a hotel reservation, the hold charge will disappear 24 hours after you check-out.

Sometimes, situations may arise where you have to settle an unresolved transaction. Or sometimes, something may happen that will warrant you to explore this option. However, since it’s not something that you often hear, you may want to take necessary precautions to ensure that you don’t take the wrong step. One of those precautions is asking if taking such a route is possible, which is the primary purpose of this article.

Paying off a pending transaction is very much possible. However, you have to note that if a payments get processed and approved while the transaction is still pending, you might end up with a temporary credit/positive balance on your card. There is no issue with this. As soon as the transaction is approved and posted, your positive balance will return to zero. In addition, expect an update in your balance after settling your outstanding transaction. If this doesn’t happen, don’t hesitate to contact your bank for instructions.

Are Pending Transactions Already Deducted From Account?

Many people, especially online shoppers, aren’t yet aware of how online transactions are processed and approved. You see, when you make an online transaction, the money isn’t instantly transferred to the merchant. You can note this by checking your banking app, which will indicate that the transaction is pending and not complete, yet. This scenario can leave you confused and with the huge question “has the money left my account already?’

Pending transactions will be deducted from your account as soon as you make an online transaction. However, your bank will hold the money until the merchant does all necessary checks and submits charges for the transaction.

Unresolved transactions, in some way, can be regarded as a transaction that isn’t officially complete. When you check your banking app after an online purchase, you’ll observe some minor changes in your available funds. However, your account balance will remain the way it is. After the transaction have been posted (complete), you’ll observe a change in your account balance. Worthy to note is that when a fund is on hold, you can neither withdraw nor spend it.

The fact that unresolved transactions aren’t officially complete doesn’t make it easily reversible. So in the situation that you decide to change your mind regarding the online transactions you’ve already initiated, you may have to wait until the transaction is posted before you make any complaint. The merchant and sometimes your bank are the ones who can cancel an outstanding transaction.

Furthermore, in the situation that you didn’t initiate the transaction, make an effort to contact your bank who will restrict the outstanding transaction and kick start investigations. However, if you initiated it, the merchant will place a hold on the fund (which hasn’t really been withdrawn yet) and proceed to conduct the necessary checks. The pending tag will remain until these things happen:

  • The merchant processes the transactional and approves it. This may take two days or a week, depending on the merchant.
  • A few days go by without the merchant processing and finalizing the transaction, and the pending hold falls off because of time. If You notice this, there is a possibility that the transaction will occur at a later date ( unless the merchant has terminated the charges or transaction).


If you shop online or make online transactions a lot, it is important that you know how pending transactions works. Outstanding transactions are norms, as far as online transactions is concerned, and so is paying off them. However, always ensure that you take a look at your card’s terms and conditions before you take this step so you don’t end up in trouble.

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