How Long Do Pending Transactions Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 – 5 Business Days

A pending transaction refers to a transaction that has not been completed successfully and is still pending. Typically, recent card transactions that have not been fully processed by the merchant are shown as pending transactions. In most circumstances, pending transaction payments get deducted from the payer’s account but are still is not reflected at the merchant’s end.

If the money has been deducted and even after a few days the transaction stays pending and does not get completed, the amount would come back to one’s account, and thus, there is no need to worry. Hence, in simple words, one could understand pending transactions as those transactions which have been initiated but have not been completed.

How Long Do Pending Transactions Last

How Long Do Pending Transactions Last?

One might get worried by seeing a card payment that has not been fully processed yet. This is not a matter of concern as this type of transaction comes under pending transactions that resolve in about 3 to 5 Business days. The amount of these transactions would be deducted from one’s available balance but might still not appear included in the account balance as the transaction is not complete.

Nowadays, one makes thousands of purchases online for which people prefer using cards to make payments as it is quick and hassle-free. Cards can be used to buy goods and services from an online merchant right from sitting at one’s home without stepping out from the house.

The major steps through which money travels before getting fully processed are as follows. Firstly the cardholder makes the requisite payment. Often there is an online check to ensure that the card is valid and the person has enough money to pay for the transaction.

After this is done, the amount of the transaction gets deducted from one’s available funds. Thus, the transaction status is “pending’ as it has not yet reached the merchant. Sometimes due to server glitches or any other reason, the payment process might get halted at this stage and would stay pending for days.

However, in maximum cases, within 3 – 5 business days, the issue would get sorted out and the money deducted would reach the merchant and thus, be reflected in the payer’s account. Once this happens, the transaction no longer stays pending as it has been successfully processed and well received.

In most cases, pending transactions last for3 – 5 business days
In extremely rare cases, a pending transaction can last for7 – 10 business days

Why Do Pending Transactions Last This Long?

Pending transactions are payments that would technically go into or out of one’s account within 5 – 7 days. Pending transactions can either be payments made to a person or payments made by the person to some third party. A pending transaction might even get canceled if it does not get completed within ten or more days.

Thus, it is a transaction that is an approved purchase and has even passed the card pre-authorization but has still not been posted to the cardholder’s account balance. Until the amount reaches the concerned merchant, the transaction could stay pending.

Generally, it takes only 3 – 5 days for a transaction to fully process but sometimes could take a bit longer depending on the merchant and the type of transaction for it to get posted to one’s account. To resolve such an issue, one can ask the merchant whether the transaction is reflected on his account or it. If not, it would probably be after a couple more days or the transaction would fall off automatically.

The transaction could stay pending either due to some technical difficulties which are stopping the bank from releasing the funds or due to some other reason. Sometimes, transactions performed on the weekends might not get cleared out until Monday mornings. Usually, 1 business day is considered normal for a transaction to clear, however, if it is showing as pending, waiting for 3 – 5 business days resolves the issue.


The electronic payment system has enabled people to make payment for their transactions using their cards which make the entire payment procedure hassle-free. This benefits both customers and businesses, as money gets deducted from the purchaser’s account and directly gets reflected in the merchant’s account.

However, sometimes after making payment, the status of the transaction could still be pending if it is not properly processed. After checking the availability of the funds in one’s account, the bank deducts the amount from the customer’s account. If this deducted amount does not reach the merchant, it would be pending till it is received by the merchant.

Pending transactions last for about 3 – 5 days. Once these transactions are fully complete, the ‘pending’ status would convert into ‘completed’ signifying that the transaction has been successful.



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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