Unauthorized overdraft, transaction declined, later on accepted, why?


I have £50 arranged overdraft limit.

Recently an online shop attempted to charge me £600 and it was rightly rejected.

Later on the same shop tried to charge me the same amount again and succeeded sending my balance to -£600 unarranged overdraft making me not so happy bunny. I was already unhappy with the shop, now I’m also unhappy with Monzo for authorizing this.

Why the first time the transaction was rejected but the second time it succeeded? How does that work?


You will have to contact Monzo using the in-app chat to ask them. We’re all customers on this forum so we can’t speak for why anything has happened with your account.

1 Like

Why were they charging you £600 in the first place?

I wonder if they did a pre-auth for a lower figure and then changed it.

The background to the story.

  • I placed an order on-line for that amount and paid with Monzo.
  • A week later that amount was refunded - no reason given. I assumed the shop cancelled my order, their website was showing the item was OOS, and purchased an alternative elsewhere.
  • A week later they attempted to charge me again and were refused.
  • Then two days later they tried again and this time got hold of the money sending me into an unarranged overdraft.

From what you are saying I gather that merchants have this trick up their sleeve (a pre-auth) that makes it possible for them to claw from my account whatever they want despite no funds and Monzo cannot prevent that. Is that correct?

I’m not 100% on how it works, just a guess really

You’ll need to speak to Monzo directly, if you search“ contact” in the app you’ll get to chat.

If the transaction is still pending, they haven’t got any of your money yet. Also, if it is pending, you aren’t in an overdraft yet.

You’ll need to speak to Monzo, in any case, to sort it out.

1 Like

And just to add to this part ^ you should definitely speak to the vendor to properly cancel the order - even if instance of being charged is sorted, as they have a valid order they may charge again.


How do I tell if the transaction is pending? The app does not communicate to me that the transaction is pending, it doesn’t say this amount has been earmarked in any way, it shows it’s gone. I think momentarily there was also a message saying that I’m now using an unarranged overdraft.

If I go to the details of the transaction it shows 2 payments with this merchant, with total spent equal to 2 x £600.

Thanks for your responses and help. I think we are getting into too much detail here specific to this particular transaction.

I just wanted to know how come one day Monzo stops you from getting into an unarranged overdraft and the other seems unable to for seemingly the same kind of transaction.

Scroll all the way to the bottom of the transaction beneath “Something Wrong”. You’ll either see just the merchant name, or also that it’s pending.

Thanks. I can see some gibberish which I suppose is the merchant’s name. It doesn’t show as ‘pending’.

Understood. It a question only Monzo can answer, I suspect. And that answer may be specific to this transaction.

If you do get an answer, be sure to post it here for the benefit of others.

1 Like

Sure. Thanks!

Couple of questions…

Why would you try to order something that you don’t have the money for in your account?

I have a feeling that it seems there are ways to force you to go into an overdraft with specific types of payment - eg. What happens with TFL payments.

If a company have made a sale; and the payment is declined. They may then have subsequently made the payment request in a different way to make sure that they get their money.

The explanation is probably quite in depth around the authorisation/presentment flow and what has to be allowed etc.

Similarly I believe offline payments could push you into the overdraft.

Either way, I find it odd that you’d be making a payment for something without having the money in your account.

I did have the money. Then the payment got refunded (no idea why) and I spent that money elsewhere on an alternative product from a different merchant.


Yea, this is down to the authorisation/presentment timings etc.

If the first stage of the payment is requested, but not confirmed then after 30 days it’ll be reversed (refunded). Then the company may charge you again.

Unfortunately the 2nd charge seems legit, so it’s probably the company simply finalising a pending transaction which you’re liable to pay etc.

Monzo should be able to confirm it - as mentioned - but it mostly seems to be some weirdness around the flow of payment with that merchant.

Which company was it?

This is pretty rubbish that my ‘wallet’ is temporarily used for some payment flow shenanigans. It’s like “here, hold this money for a minute while we are are trying to open the till, and let’s pretend it’s a refund but it really isn’t”…

The merchant was Lenovo. The payment was made on 1/01, it was refunded on 9/01, on 14/01 they tried charging again (refused), and 16/01 they tried yet again and this time breached Monzo’s defences.

There used to be an option to chat with somebody. Now I can either dispute the transaction or report fraud. So it doesn’t seem possible to just speak with Monzo.

Go to the help section, type ‘contact’ in the search box and click on the ‘Contacting support’ article.

Once in the article, there should be a ‘chat with us’ link visible.

1 Like