"Delayed from" payments

(Tim Stamp) #1

Several times I have had a payment go out, then some time later it is refunded before being taken again as a “Delayed payment”.
This messes up my statement view, and adds confusion to when the item was paid for, which might be a problem for accounting, especially if the two dates span different financial years.

If I spent £100 in March, then it is refunded and made a “Delayed payment” in April, did I spend £100 in both months? Is that what my Monzo “activity” says? The tax year I will assume is the year on the invoice, but the Monzo view is just confusing.

Hope I can get some clarification here.


Well it seems like you are shopping on a very broken website that takes ages to settle transactions. By default most transactions are settled within 3-5 days, and after 7 days they are automatically expired by Monzo and the money is refunded since a lot of lazy merchants rely on this behaviour and don’t explicitly cancel authorisations for stuff like refunds or card checks.

(Tim Stamp) #3

I’ve recently had an international transaction be refunded after 7 days, and simultaneously re-paid as a “delayed from” payment.

I feel Monzo should allow me to hide these refund & “delayed from” transactions; I like to be notified of course, but having the duplicated entries is unnecessary when they just cancel each other out.


Regardless of whether the website is being a bit tardy with collecting payments that have been authorised, Monzo should be looking to handle this sort of thing better.

As it is, the behaviour of taking the authorisation from the balance, refunding it, and then taking it again is a worse user experience than the high street banks offer. That’s a problem for Monzo to solve, it’s not good enough to shrug and point the finger elsewhere.


How would you solve it though, considering some merchants rely on this behaviour?


Off the top of my head - for cases like this where there is a presentation after the authorisation has been refunded then get rid of the refund and link the presentation back in to the initial transaction.

Where there has been an authorisation refund but no presentation yet (and there might not be one) - don’t show a separate refund. Return the amount to the balance and grey out the authorisation. Provide more info in the detail screen saying that the merchant might still take that payment at a later date. User can remove expired authorisation once they have acknowledged that a presentation may still appear at a later date.

(Tim Stamp) #7

Extend the 7 days to 30 days.
Add a “pending” label to every transaction in the statement that hasn’t completed.

If a transaction hasn’t been confirmed after 7 days and is then refunded automatically, what gives the retailer the right to charge me that amount again?
Sounds like either the retailer or Monzo isn’t following the rules.


If a transaction hasn’t been confirmed after 7 days and is then refunded automatically, what gives the retailer the right to charge me that amount again?
Sounds like either the retailer or Monzo isn’t following the rules.

Those rules are completely bullshit but in fact a merchant can charge you even 6 months after an authorisation - I believe there is no upper limit.

Such retailers would deserve being hit with ephemeral card numbers that expire after a reasonable timeframe had passed; the sudden influx of losses will quickly make them update their systems to present within 5 days like everyone else.

(Tim Stamp) #9

From a legal standpoint, that money was taken, and deprived me of the use of it while it was taken.
Monzo is then returning me the use of that money, so i can spend it again, even though the retailer can then re-take it at a later date.

In the worst case, this will cause people to think they have more money than they do, overspend, then end up in debt.

[Android/iOS] Ordering of delayed refund

Could users be asked about transactions when they’re about to drop off? If they know they’re still expecting to pay that amount they can just click ‘Keep’?

(Allie) #11

I made a post about the general view here just yesterday. The reality is most people absolutely love this and it’s one of their favourite things about Monzo, so it is what it is :slight_smile: Still, I agree… it’s confusing. Authorisations are just that and should be separate.


It’s not really that confusing as a concept, and I don’t think splitting out the authorisations would make it less so - it just needs Monzo to be a bit clearer about what’s going on.

At the moment they’re just refunding the money with no further information - and it looks exactly like it would if the merchant had processed the refund. That’s what makes it confusing.


I think this is quite a good idea, @anon80829874. It’d make it more obvious.

Even more annoying, is that the refund comes through as a completely unrecognisable string with lots of whitespace padding. It looks ugly, and almost incorrect, like something has gone wrong.

(Jack) #14

If an authorisation is reversed. Instead of it showing up as a credit on the account can’t they just remove it from the feed? As if it never happened. I see how it can be confusing to look at.

@BethS what’s your thoughts on this?

(Tim Stamp) #15

Accounting works on the basis of an immutable ledger. You cant remove anything from it - this would be almost fraudulent.
Errors are accounted for in chronological order, where transactions can cancel each other out, but should never be removed.

I agree they could be marked as ‘cancelled’ or ‘reversed’ subsequently though.

(Jack) #16

They could still show up on the statement in the background just not on the feed? but I agree with your solution.

(Ian Lyon) #17

I hear you. I’d like to think we could make this look better and less ‘broken’. I’m not sure if there’s a technical limitation on us doing so, but I’ve fed this back to the right people internally.

As much as I understand the thought process behind this, it wouldn’t really work in practice :pensive:

We’d end up in a situation where extending the authorisation expiry to 30 days would leave a lot of people stuck without access to their money in cases where it genuinely should have been reversed and available for them to use; one example would be where a merchant has declined a payment at the point of sale, despite us receiving the authorisation request and approving it on our end. It wouldn’t really be fair for us to keep a hold on this money for 30 days in this kind of scenario. Sure, they could get in touch with COps to release the hold on it, but this would drive a pretty substantial increase in the workload for COps that really could be better addressed through design to make things clearer in the first place.

When you make a payment by card, you’re providing your authorisation for the merchant to take money from your account. When this authorisation is approved on our end, we move the money into a ‘hold’ account to ring-fence it from the rest of your money, typically for 7 days as most merchants come to collect it within around 2-5 days. This makes things clearer for you, since (assuming the merchant collects within 7 days) you can’t spend the same money twice.

It’s worth bearing in mind here that as far as a merchant is concerned, they never see that we’ve ring-fenced the money in your account and deducted it from the balance you can spend, and at this point, technically no money has been taken from your account - the money you see as ‘taken’ from your perspective is really just ring-fenced within your account. From the merchant’s perspective, you pay by card and authorise the payment, and some number of days later they come to collect the money owed - it’s pretty simple on their end.

If they don’t collect the money within 7 days, the ring-fenced money is automatically released and available to spend again, but at no point yet has it actually been collected by the merchant.

You’ve still given them authorisation to debit your account, though, and presumably have the goods you paid for, so you still owe them the money; this is why they can come in and (from your perspective) take the payment a second time. In reality, they’ve only ever taken the payment once - in the meantime the money was just ring-fenced by us to stop you from spending it twice, and automatically released from this status because the merchant has collected it later than they really should have.

Unexpected Refunds
What to do about unsettled transactions?
(Tim Stamp) #18

Thanks for the clarification :+1:

(Nick) #19

Instead of changing the expiry limit for everything, would it be possible to come up with some way of letting the use re-ringfence the sums for any of these ‘refunds’?

Say I’ve spend £50 on something and know I’ve received what I’ve paid for, but the merchant doesn’t collect on time so I get a ‘refund’. Knowing that I have ‘spent’ the money, I tap on the transaction in my feed, and tap on the ‘keep ringfenced/awaiting collection/still owing/call it what you will’ button, and the refund is reversed and the money ringfenced for another 7 days (or, given that I’m confirming this is a genuine transaction at this point, 30 days or even up to six months).

(James Murray-Ferris) #20

Or let’s flip the above idea on its head! Up the ring fence to 30 days but have an automated process/button that says this will be refunded and allows the ring fence to be removed from the transaction