What is an authorization?
An authorization happens when you make an online purchase with your Venmo account, and the merchant places a pending transaction on your account for the total amount of the purchase. You may notice an amount deducted from your available balance when an authorization is made, but it isn’t fully posted to your statement yet.
What is a merchant capture?
A merchant capture is the equivalent of finalizing a pending charge on a credit card statement - it causes funds to move from you to the merchant. Once a merchant captures an authorization, you’ll see the purchase completed in your personal transactions feed for the final amount.
Why was the final amount (capture) different than the initial authorization?
There may be a difference between the amount that you see when you initially make an online purchase (authorization) and the final capture amount. Some merchants will place an authorization on your account for the total amount of your purchase, then will capture each individual purchase as the item(s) are shipped. These processes will have an impact on your balance until all authorizations are completed.
Why is my balance less than expected before the online payment is finalized?
If you have access to a Venmo balance, here's what you can expect:
After making an online purchase, the amount of your transaction will be held from your available Venmo balance until the purchase is finalized by the merchant. This is to ensure that there are enough funds to cover the purchase once it is finalized. If your purchase is for more than what is available in your balance, your entire balance will be held while waiting for the purchase to be captured. This means that your balance may display as $0 until the final purchase amount is captured. Any held balance amounts that exceed the final purchase amount will be made available within 30 days of completion of the transaction.
Why do I see multiple transactions in Venmo for a single purchase?
Most purchases involve an initial authorization hold for the estimated total amount of your purchase, followed by a final capture wherein the total is finalized.
Some purchases allow the merchant to capture smaller parts of the total at different times, like when two items ship separately. In this scenario, the transaction is completed only when the final capture is submitted by the merchant. When this happens, the larger authorization hold will be released back to your account.
Keep in mind that bank-funded transactions can take 1-3 business days to appear on your statement once the merchant has completed them.
Your purchase history will show alongside payments to friends and family in your personal transactions feed under the Me tab. Here, you can share a purchase with others (purchases are private by default), and view transaction details and the amount of money in your account after completed purchases.