Authorization Holds

Signature-based credit and debit card transactions consist of a two-step process, authorization and settlement.

Once the merchant scans your credit card, the credit card terminal connects to the acquirer (SECU), who verifies your account and that sufficient funds are available to cover the transaction’s cost. At this step, the funds are “held” and deducted from your credit limit (or checking account balance, in the case of a debit card) but are not yet transferred to the merchant. At the end of the business day, the merchant instructs the credit card machine to submit the finalized transactions to the acquirer via “batch transfer,” which begins the settlement process, where the funds are transferred from your credit or debit account to the merchant’s account.

Contrary to popular belief, this process is not instantaneous: the transaction may not appear in your online account activity for one to two business days, and it can take up to three days for funds to be deposited into the merchant’s account. Authorization holds can only be released by the merchant.

Effective August 23, 2012 the maximum amount of fuel that an AFT terminal can pump will increase to U.S. $125. As background, in response to increased gasoline prices, the Visa network increased the $1 status check and "Hold" amount from $75 to U.S. $125.00 for all consumer card transactions at the pump.

Using our Net24 Service, you can see the immediate effect of an Authorization Hold on your Account Balance, even though the transaction has not yet posted. Also, if you have registered your card(s) with SECU CardValet app, you will receive authorizations real-time and have control over card usability.

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