£1 charge to credit card for fuel?

On 2/10 I bought petrol at Morrisons. My online credit card account shows the correct price of the full transaction for £45.11, but also a pending transaction of £1 on the same date (which are both 6 days ago). Is this normal and why? I thought they took £100 from it and refunded what you didn't buy (to make sure you have the funds before you fuel)
- where does £1 come into it?
Reply to
Uncle Peter
I guess that the "pending" charge was merely an authorization hold or preauth that will just expire within a few days.
Reply to
Anthony R. Gold
But since I can fuel with up to £100 of petrol, why isn't it £100? What's the point in checking I have £1 in my account?
Reply to
Uncle Peter
Was this a "pay at the pump" affair? If so, it may have been checking that your card was genuine before giving you any fuel.
If you "pay at the kiosk" at most petrol stations, you fill up *before* presenting your card - but there is then a person there to deal with any problems. But you can often pay at the pump when the kiosk is unattended - so I suppose it makes some sort of sense of check your card up front.
For all I know, when you do a trial authorisation for £1, your card company may possibly tell the pump how much available credit you've got. I don't know whether this happens - but I see no reason why it shouldn't be technically possible.
Reply to
Roger Mills
If they told them how much I had available, you'd think the £1 charge was unnecessary. It smells of a workaround to me.
Reply to
Uncle Peter
In article , snipped-for-privacy@spam.com says...
If they carried out a trial transaction of £100 you would lose access to that amount of credit until the transaction expired a few days later so be grateful that they, like many other companies, just tie up the £1.
Reply to
Yellow
Surely they can send a request, "Is there £100 there?" without actually tying it up? Or even take the £100, but then alter the transaction down to whatever amount of fuel I took, so it's back in as soon as I leave the petrol station. Credit card transactions can't be this badly thought out, surely?
Reply to
Uncle Peter
Credit card transactions don't work quite like that.
From a security standpoint it wouldn't be a good idea to reveal how much remaining credit was available on a card in case some fraud was going on. Besides, your credit limit is a personal thing and should remain confidential between your and your card-issuing company. You wouldn't expect someone to be able to find out what your bank balance is when you make a payment to them, and I don't think I'd want every trader I dealt with knowing what my credit card limit was.
When the exact amount of a transaction is unknown in advance, the way it works is the merchant will request authorisation for an amount at least as much as he an anticipates you may spend. The credit card company then comes back with an authorisation for the card to be charged that amount and blocks that amount from your remaining credit.
Just be thankful they only asked for authorisation for £1 and not £100, or else you would have had your remaining credit blocked for an even larger amount for a couple of weeks.
Reply to
Chris Blunt
I didn't say they should. I said they should ask for the max the pump would give you, which is £100. It wouldn't know the difference betwen me having a credit of £100 and £10000.
Yes, that's what I thought they would do, but clearly they don't if it's only £1. Nobody buys £1 of petrol.
But when I only fuelled with £60, then £40 should be refunded immediately. If it can come out immediately, it should be able to go back in immediately. For example, if I'm in a shop and for some reason they want to cancel the transaction (I've changed my mind or the merchant typed in the wrong amount), surely it can be cancelled on the spot, and all my credit is there for the next shop I walk into?
Reply to
Uncle Peter
For some reason, that I have never really worked out, although it may relate to the fact that, historically, at least, many transactions were not pre-authorised, the transaction that actually debits the account can
take several days to go through the system. I think only when that goes
through is the authorisation removed.
In this context this would mean that, if they authorised the full £100
maximum, you would lose access to that full £100 for the best part of the a week. If they only authorise £1, and do the main transaction either unauthorised, or with a separate authorisation for the actual amount, only £1 that you wouldn't otherwise spend would be tied up, albeit it tied until the authorisation times out, rather than until the payment is settled.
I suspect that reversing a transaction only affects the settlement stage, and still leaves the authorisation on file.
In the days when cards were imprinted, the merchant would have to pay for a phone call, to have a transaction authorised, so they would only get authorisation if the amount was over the floor limit or the customer
looked shifty.
Reply to
David Woolley
I bought some plants from a garden centre with the old run the thing across the raised card digits machine. There was a powercut so they couldn't use the computers. Someone found the old devices.
Reply to
Uncle Peter
On Thu, 09 Oct 2014 23:01:02 +0100, David Woolley put finger to keyboard
Broadly speaking, yes, that's correct. The credit card system is still fundamentally based on the monthly billing/statement cycle that dates back to when it was all done with paper imprints[1], and, although some aspects of it have been modified to work in real time (or near real time) when carried out electronically, there is still no guarantee that any transaction will be processed before the end of the billing month. So the assumption has to be made that it may not.
[1] Which, as Uncle Peter points out in his reply, can still be used.
Mark
Reply to
Mark Goodge
I agree that is a weakness in the system. There appears to be no linkage between the original authorisation request and the actual charge to the card.
I've noticed this when staying at hotels where they sometimes authorise your card for quite a large amount when you check-in. After you pay your account at check-out they charge your account with the bill total, but in addition to that the card still has the authorisation amount blocked as well.
Reply to
Chris Blunt
In article , snipped-for-privacy@spam.com says...
No idea what they can theoretically do, all I know is what happens in practice in my dealings with various companies (including Tesco when I order a home delivery and am not actually charged until it arrives up to 3 weeks later) and that it seems to work.
Reply to
Yellow
In article , snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com says...
Yes, I've had that too and it can also happen when you hire a car.
Reply to
Yellow
but are you sure that it's not actually reserved.
Often I can see my "amount available" has decreased by the value of the purchase immediately, even though that purchase is not debited until delivery day
tim

Reply to
tim.....
The debit card for my NatWest current account is like that too. The sort-code is shown on the front of the card, but not the account number.
Of course the account has a number, it's just that it's not printed on the debit card. Maybe it's some kind of security. Surely your friend must have some other way to find out what her account number is.
Chris
Reply to
Chris Blunt
It would make me cut up the card and close my account with a rude letter. I'm always using the account number written on my TSB and Nationwide cards.
Reply to
Uncle Peter
Probably, but she was sufficiently annoyed not to bother. I showed her my Nationwide one and said get a decent bank.
Reply to
Uncle Peter
In article , tims_new snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk says...
Yes, I am completely sure as my credit card's website lists pending/reserved transactions as well as those that have been completed.
But anyway, Tesco do not know how much my shopping is going to cost until it is picked and then delivered on the day - price changes, unavailable items and substitutions make it a literal moving feast - so how could they?
Reply to
Yellow

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