An authorization or pending “hold” is a banking industry practice of authorizing electronic transactions made with a debit or credit card and holding this balance as unavailable either until the merchant “clears” the transaction (also called “settlement”) or the hold “drops off.” When a guest inadvertently charges a card multiple times during the same transaction, more than one hold can appear on the account.
Basically, when a debit or credit card number is submitted, it is transmitted as an electronic inquiry to determine if funds are available to cover the potential transaction. The bank automatically places a hold on the amount until the merchant clears or “settles” the transaction (usually at the close of business each day). These holds usually drop off after one to three days, depending on the issuing bank’s policy.
Whenever possible and at the issuing bank’s request, we are happy to cooperate to resolve “pending hold” issues, but it’s important to note that while a request to release a hold can be made, not all banks will honor one. And even if they do, the release of funds may not be instant. Ultimately, merchants do not have the ability to release an authorization hold; the only entity that can do so is the issuing card’s bank.