What is an authorization?
When you make a purchase using your Venmo card, the merchant will authorize your card for the initial amount of your purchase. This is called a merchant authorization, and it allows the merchant to first ensure that your Venmo account is open and working. Additionally, the authorization will ensure that you have sufficient funds in your Venmo balance to cover the transaction amount if reloads are turned off or unavailable on your account. The transaction will appear as a pending charge on your transaction history until the merchant completes the transaction and posts the final amount.
What is a capture?
Funds will not be transferred to the merchant until they finalize the transaction and capture the final amount. If you have reloads enabled, and your Venmo balance does not have enough funds to cover the total purchase, we will initiate the reloads at the time the merchant posts the final purchase amount. Once a merchant captures an authorization, you’ll see the purchase finalized in your transaction history in the Purchases tab in your Venmo app for the final amount. Please note that while most merchants will capture a transaction in 1-5 business days, the merchant may take up to 30 days to finalize the transaction.
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 authorize a purchase, and the final capture amount. Some merchants place a hold larger than the transaction amount to cover incidentals or tips (such as "pay at the pump" for fuel, or at restaurants, hotels, and car rental locations), which will impact your available balance while the authorization is pending. If no incidentals took place, or you tipped less than the hold amount, your final transaction amount will reflect that difference. Please see your Cardholder Agreement for further details.
Why is my balance less than expected before the payment is finalized?
Right after you make a purchase (authorization), all or part of your Venmo balance will be held until the purchase is finalized (captured) by the merchant. If your Venmo balance exceeds the amount of your purchase, your balance will be reduced by the authorized amount to account for this hold. This is to ensure that there are enough funds to cover the purchase once it is finalized.
However, if your purchase is more than what is available in your Venmo balance, the transaction will be declined, unless you have reloads enabled to cover the difference. If you have reloads enabled, 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. If the initial authorization was for a greater amount than the final capture, any held balance amounts which exceed the final purchase amount will be made available within 30 days of completion of the transaction.
The Venmo Mastercard is issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated. The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted in the U.S. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.