General Question

marmoset's avatar

If a debit card transaction is PENDING, does that mean the charge will definitely go through?

Asked by marmoset (934 points ) July 14th, 2009

(This is regarding a Chase debit card in NY state—it’s the Visa-logo ATM card that deducts from my checking account.)

I made a transaction using my debit card that, according to the recipient, went through successfully. (I got the usual “thank you for your payment” email—the recipient is a large company I have successfully paid several times in the past with this card.) However, when I log into my Chase account, the transaction displays as “PENDING” POS DEBIT. I did not have enough funds in my Chase checking account to cover this transaction (and I don’t have any other funds with Chase—no credit card, no overdraft protection).

My account currently displays a negative “available balance” that correctly reflects the transaction in question being missing from my balance.

If you know—
please help me know which of these will happen:

1) the pending transaction goes through, and Chase charges me an insufficient funds fee;

2) the pending transaction does not go through (the recipient is told it was declined) and Chase also charges me an insufficient funds fee;

3) the pending transaction does not go through (the recipient is told it was declined) but Chase does not charge me an insufficient funds fee.

Thank you for your help.

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10 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

No, it means that they are aware of it, but haven’t as yet approved it. They will automatically reserve funds in the expectation of approval, but that is all.

Usually if you are an established customer – they will “pause” for a little while to allow you to add funds, make transfers – whatever.

They aren’t out to get you, they want your business – but at no risk to them.

marmoset's avatar

Thank you DarkScribe, but I’m not sure, are you saying #2 will happen or #3 will happen?

marmoset's avatar

(I am hoping #1 is the one that will happen.)

marmoset's avatar

If it’s certain that the only way to make the transaction actually go through is to deposit X dollars into my Chase account, then I guess what I’m trying to find out is X.

In other words, would I need to deposit the amount by which I am now reported as negative—or would I need to deposit the amount I am now reported as negative PLUS the insufficient funds fee.

It matters a lot because I’m at the very end of my cash, trying to fix my mistakes and pretty desperate. I realize that possibly nobody can know this answer for sure without being an insider at the bank.

ShanEnri's avatar

Ask a bank employee. I would!

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Debit cards do allow you to overdraw your account. The transaction “going through” means that it’s approved, but it doesn’t mean that the transaction actually posts to your account. Usually postings happen after midnight, and they but in deposits before they take out checks, debit card transactions, etc.

If you are writing checks on this account as well, most banks will pay the checks before the debit card transactions, hence the pend.

It’s really important to keep an accurate check register, and record debit card transactions as if they were checks at the time you use the card.

fireinthepriory's avatar

Pretty sure #1 will happen, it happened to me last Friday (unintentionally, unfortunately).

tedibear's avatar

The amount your account will be overdrawn will likely factor into whether #1 or #2 happens. Many banks have what is referred to as an overdraft matrix. Essentially, based on your history with the bank, the matrix determines how much your account can be overdrawn. If you’re under your matrix dollar amount, I think that #1 will happen. If you’re over, then I would think #2.

#3 is rather unlikely, but I have seen it happen where I work.

marmoset's avatar

Thank you to everyone so far!

The transaction happened just before midnight on Sunday the 12th, and the “pending” display is still the same today (5pm on Tuesday the 14th), if that info helps at all.

marmoset's avatar

Today (the 15th) sometime shortly after midnight, the transaction changed from PENDING to a normal transaction listing.

So I assume #1 happened (the insufficient funds fee hasn’t appeared yet on my online account but of course I expect it will).

Thank you to everyone for your help.

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