What is an authorization?
When you make a purchase using your Venmo Mastercard® Debit Card, the merchant will place a hold on the funds in your available Venmo balance to cover the initial amount of your purchase. This is called a merchant authorization, and it allows the merchant to 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 in the Purchases tab of your Venmo app until the merchant completes (captures) 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 completed for the final amount in the Purchases tab of your Venmo app. Please note that while most merchants may capture a transaction in 1-5 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. This is because 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 the Venmo Mastercard 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 the amount of your purchase exceeds your available Venmo balance, the transaction will be declined unless you have reloads available on your account and enabled to cover the difference. You can learn more about how reloads work here. If the initial authorization was for a greater amount than the final capture, any funds held in excess of the final purchase amount will be made available within 30 days of completion of the transaction.
How long will my transaction remain pending?
Different kinds of transactions can remain pending for different amounts of time. While most transactions may complete within 7 days, authorizations from businesses like hotels and rental car companies may remain for a few days longer. Merchants have up to 30 days to finalize the transaction. You can learn more about these timelines in the Venmo Mastercard Cardholder Agreement. In these scenarios, Venmo needs to allow the merchant enough time to complete or void the transaction before we can intervene. If you suspect that a transaction has been pending for too long, contact us here so we can take a closer look.
Why did this merchant charge me again when I already paid for my order?
It’s not uncommon for online merchants to authorize your Venmo Debit Card for the full amount of your order, then individually capture the amounts for any parts of your order shipping separately. This means that you may see a pending transaction for your expected total, followed by smaller transactions that make up the different parts of that total. Once the merchant has shipped all of your items, they’ll typically capture the smaller transactions and release any funds held for the total transaction amount back to your Venmo balance.
The Venmo Mastercard® Debit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated. The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC. The Venmo Debit 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.