Receiving a payment back onto a Card

(James Brierley) #1

So I am receiving a payment from a betting website back to the payment card. I must note now that this card is not a Monzo card it is a Natwest Visa Debit Card. I used this card because there is no fees using a Visa Card (there is using Mastercard) and there is also no limits on withdrawals (whereas with Mastercard you are limited to the amount in total you have deposited using this card)

Long story short this website processed this payment back onto the card on Wednesday at c.6pm. It is now Monday and the money has yet to hit my back account. They do advertise that it can take 1-6 business days so it is not surprising. What is surprising and where I am hoping to get some insight from Monzo is why it takes 1-6 days. From a consumer’s perspective they will take my money instantaneously but take an age to give it back.

@simonb - do you know anyone at Monzo well placed to explain the steps behind returning the money to a payment card. Although this is not a Monzo question directly, whenever I have had money returned to a Monzo card it always seems to be quicker. So I wanted to try and find out why?


Card payments work on the basis of authorisations which are instant (that’s what triggers the notification on Monzo), followed by a settlement/presentment a few days later (where the money actually moves hands).

Refunds don’t have that “authorisation” step so you are left waiting for the presentment straight away.

(James Brierley) #3

Not really sure I follow.

(Peter Shillito) #4

I believe it became illegal to charge for using one card or another (or any other method of payment) unless the charge is for any method of payment. You should bring this up with the company.

(Only available in amateur ) #5

Basically when you pay the merchant asks your bank if you can afford it. This is the authorisation. On other banks it’s shown as pending until the money had actually been transferred (presentment).

On a refund there’s no authorisation, just waiting for the retailer to send it through to their bank or card people, then their bank or card people to send it, and then for it to pop up on Monzo (or whoever)

That’s my simplified Ladybird book of banking version that I rely on

(James Brierley) #6

OK - thanks.

But that doesn’t answer my question of how a). Monzo are usually quicker at returning the monies and b). why it is allowed for companies to do this? Is it not simple to add authorization for companies too?

(Only available in amateur ) #7

Think it’s just because they’re that good and clear it quick because they can see it on the system and don’t wait


It’s usually entirely up to the merchant to decide how long to take for the refund. In my experience there is a huge variation even with the same merchant.

I have come to the conclusion that the local Aldi for example seems to simply process all refunds once a week (around 8.30 am on Tuesdays) as that’s when I always get the money back for anything I have returned the previous week, regardless of when I have returned it. (And regardless of which card I have used.) So it could take anything from a few hours (if you returned something just before store closing time on the Monday) to almost a week (if you returned something the previous Tuesday).

I have no proof whatsoever for this, apart from anecdotal observations, so it could be pure coincidence.

As to why it’s done like this: Well, presumably because card processing procedures originate in the digital stone age when you’d run transactions in batches as much as you could, and haven’t really kept up to date.

As to why Monzo seems faster than your other banks: Because some banks are slow. Personally, I have not noticed any different timescales for refunds to hit my accounts using NatWest credit (although they are terribly slow in showing transactions out of the account, which is weird), Barclays debit, AmEx credit, or Monzo debit cards, but I guess other banks vary.