Over the past couple of months I’ve noticed something happen at a couple of merchants in particular- JR East in Japan and Safeway in Canada. I’m charged the first time, then the first charge grays out and a second charge appears, but they both count against my available balance (oh, and the second posted charge doesn’t have the option to split bills nor does it show the merchant logo). Going by the “help” section it seems like this happens to some UK customers too, but theirs seems to be resolved and this… isn’t. Is this something that others have experienced too?
That is because it is pending.
They have charged you once (pending) i.e. to check you can pay.
Then later they have sent through the ‘real’ charge
The pending charge will disappear about a week later.
You can click on it and scroll to the bottom - one will say pending on i.e. why you can’t split it
That would have been understandable if the other charge disappeared within a week or two, and if the charge that can’t be split was the pending one. But it’s been over a month in this case, and it’s the posted charge that can’t be split.
Have you reached out to Monzo in app?
I have now and it’s been taken off now, I was trying to see how many other US users were having this issue and if this is something that always happens with these particular merchants (as in, I’ll always have to have someone on the support team help me with this when I make a purchase there).
The issue is with how the merchant does it, it would be the same with any bank.
It is just that Monzo show them instantly where as other banks have a pending balance.
Well, it’s more that other banks are able to match the posted transaction to the original authorization regardless of how the store sends it and not record it as a second item posted to my account.
That’s because most banks don’t have instant notifications
We have no visibility with other banks so who knows what they do?
I would be surprised if there is any matching going on. More likely the display balance is changing only for the cleared transaction but the available cash balance is going down for both the cleared and pending transaction, and bumping up again when the pending transaction clears.
Certainly that’s how it would work with my old bank accounts, and I’d be surprised if anything different was happening here.
Here’s how transactions at the same affected merchants show up when using any of the vast majority of my other US/Canadian cards:
Day 0: Transaction is authorized, the amount is taken out of my “available/spendable balance” (debit) or “available credit” (credit). On a debit card+bank account, the “current balance” remains the same, and the transaction itself shows up as “pending”.
Day 3-5: Transaction posts to my account. On debit card+bank account, “current balance” drops to match “available/spendable balance”. On both debit and credit, the original transaction is posted and shows in the list of transactions on the date the authorization happened.
Usually, posting the settled transaction to the authorized transaction, or posting then removing the authorization, happens the same day, at the same moment. From my perspective, I only see that the balance goes down and the authorization that happened a few days ago changes from “pending” to “posted/settled”. It doesn’t go down and back up, I don’t see a change in merchant name.
Also, that still leaves part 2 of the issue:
It’s actually the other way around. The pending transaction has the fancy stuff, including the option to split the bill:
The posted transaction doesn’t.
I’m not trying to be a difficult customer, but at the same time I do want to see this issue fixed in some way.
Yeah, this definitely sounds like it’s not working right, and I would be trying to get it fixed too. I can’t give any insight as to those merchants or why it’s happening unfortunately. I know you said support has solved the specific issue this time, but did you follow up and ask them to look into why it happened? That would be the best way to get to the bottom of this.
It might take a bit of back and forth, but hopefully they can escalate it to someone who can figure out what’s going on. Getting these kinds of issues sorted is surely part of the reason for this phase of the US accounts, and it will make the whole product stronger. I would hope that Monzo is appreciative of customers like you who are willing to put the time in to dig into the areas that aren’t working right.
Thanks for this post, I appreciate you offering a litle more understanding of what is going wrong, and @jzw95’s reply pretty much says all I would say. I’ll just add that you’re absolutely not being a difficult customer in this case, and Monzo no doubt actively want customers like you in the US to help them identify and iron out issues like these