Direct Line withdrew, refunded and withdrew funds - just curious why this happened

Hi everyone

Just had a quick question about this.

I renewed some insurance with Direct Line for this year, in December over the phone.
As you can see from the screenshot below I had the £1 authorisation charge, which they refunded a month later.

I then was charged for the insurance at 07:08 on 7th Jan.
Yesterday, at 04:35 they refunded and withdrew the funds again, any ideas why this might have happened? :slightly_smiling_face:

Just curious really.

Sam

Have you tried asking them :thinking:

I think all you’ll get from us lot is speculation.

Maybe they’d had a system glitch and it’s just gone a bit weird.

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It’ll be down to the authorisation flow of payments. I bet you paid about 30 days ago?

Payments automatically refund if not taken in 30 days, as the preauthorisation expires.

This might have happened, and then direct line took it again.

The original transaction probably had (may still have) pending against it.

There’s a blog article about the lifecycle of a payment transaction which covers some of this I think - or at least other posts.

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It’s likely to be this.

The Monzo feed makes no distinction between authorisations and presented (fully-processed) transactions, but it is likely that the initial authorisation was not presented for full processing in time (within the 30 days, likely due to a system glitch at their end) so it had to be processed again.

This shows on the feed as the initial authorisation, reversed by the refund, and then a new transaction as the details are “put through” again, basically. The initial transaction may actually say “Pending” in small text at the very bottom of the transaction information page in the app.

The £1 authorisations were likely to be just active card checks to make sure you had provided them with valid details, so they are a bit of a different process to the actual charge for the insurance.

It doesn’t really matter as long as the final amount you were charged adds up correctly, many other banks may even have hidden the pending unpresented charge from your statement.

TL;DR it is just a function of the card processing system that you sometimes get payment oddities like this. The complicated behind the scenes stuff usually all works out automatically.

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