Should You Be Worried if a Credit Card Pending Transaction Disappeared?

Checking credit card transactions on the mobile phone app

Some things don’t work the way we think they do. For instance, credit and debit card transactions aren’t processed instantaneously, like we think they are. When you make a purchase, a hold is placed on the funds linked with the transaction till the necessary “behind the scenes” activities are completed. After all the checks are done, and the merchants get paid, the pending tag will drop off. However, in the event that the pending transaction vanished, should you panic?

If a credit card pending transaction disappears, you don’t need to panic. The likely reasons for the disappearance could be a mistake by the merchant or the approval of the transaction. If you need more clarification, you may call the merchant.

The pending or awaiting tag on a credit card transaction signifies that the merchant is carrying out the necessary checks to approve the transaction. One of those checks is to determine if you have sufficient funds to complete the transaction. This check usually takes around 2- 7 days, depending on your bank and the merchant. After the necessary checks have been conducted and the merchant gets paid, the outstanding will vanish. In this article, we’ll make you understand why such an occurrence shouldn’t make you panic.

Should You Be Worried if a Credit Card Pending Transaction Disappeared?

The introduction of credit cards has made it possible to make purchases on credit. It has made it easy for us to make those important purchases even with empty account balances. When you use a credit card to make a transaction, you expect everything to be processed and approved in real-time. However, that is not really the case. Making a transaction with a debit or credit card is different from when you make a payment in cash.

Credit card transactions are processed differently than we imagined. The whole process doesn’t occur instantly. About four parties are involved in processing a credit card transaction, thus, making the process much complicated than it appears. When you purchase a toaster, for instance, using your credit card, you expect the transaction to go through in real-time, and the money is deducted instantly. However, what happens is that the money for the transaction is usually held.

When the money is being held, you’ll notice a “pending” tag on your mobile banking app or website. You will also see a reduction in your available balance, but not your account balance. The reason for this is because the funds have been kept aside, ready for the merchant to take, but hasn’t really been taken from your account. It usually takes the merchant and the players involved (the acquirer, card issuer, payment processor, card associations) around two to seven days to conduct the necessary checks and approval to post the transaction.

When a credit card awaiting transaction vanishes, some people often get worried. This could also create fear in some people who may see this development as an issue with the transaction, their credit card company, or the merchant. You see, when an outstanding transaction vanishes, you don’t need to bother. The outstanding tag on your online banking app will vanish for these reasons:

  • If the transaction has been processed and approved
  • If the merchant made a mistake
  • If the merchant failed to claim the money

Whatever the case may be, you have absolutely no reason to be worried. If the pending tag vanished because the transaction was processed and approved, it’s a good thing as it’s a norm. However, if the awaiting label disappeared due to the merchant’s error, the mistake will be corrected, and you will get a refund. In the event that it’s taken too long for the refund to arrive, don’t hesitate to call the merchant. If the merchant is not cooperative, contact your bank or credit card issuer.

Contacting the Merchant:

It is almost impossible to dispute an outstanding transaction while it is yet to be processed and approved. You will have to wait till the transaction is posted to your account before disputing. Thus, banks advise all customers to contact merchants directly when an outstanding charge vanishes. The merchant should disclose to you if there was a mistake and whether a refund will be issued or an amendment will be made.

What Could Be the Main Reasons for Pending Transaction to Disappear?

When you buy a product using your debit or credit card, you’ll notice the “pending” tag when viewing your account online or via your banking app. This is done to give the merchant enough time to conduct all necessary online checks. The awaiting tag will stay on your account till the transaction is posted. However, sometimes the awaiting transaction may vanish, making us want to know the main reason for this occurrence.

Pending transactions may vanish due to three main reasons: if the transaction has been processed, approved, and posted, if there was a mistake made when making the transaction, and if the merchant failed to claim the funds.

Outstanding transactions can appear and vanish; it happens. One common reason why you notice the pending tag disappear is because the merchant has carried out the necessary online check on your account, sent the necessary files to your bank, and received the funds for the transaction. After all that has been done, the transaction will be approved, and the outstanding tag will disappear. While this ends up stunning some people, be rest assured that it’s a norm.

If, for some reasons, you feel like the disappearance of the outstanding transaction seems weird, or if you need extra clarification, you can call the merchant or your bank. They will provide you with reasons why the tag suddenly vanished from your account.


As a cardholder, be it a credit card or a debit card, there are many things that should trouble your mind and make you anxious. However, you won’t be doing yourself any good by adding the disappearance of a pending transaction to the list. Such occurrence happens, not for wrong reasons, but the good ones – in most cases. So rather than panic, call the merchant or your bank. However, most times, doing so isn’t necessary.

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