Understanding Pending Card Charges and Settlement

Learn about when credit card charges settle.

Transaction Stages

When a customer makes a credit card purchase, the payment will go through the following stages:

  1. Card Authorization
  2. Fraud Monitoring
  3. Payment Capture

Card Authorization

During the card authorization phase, the payment processor validates the purchase made by the customer. At this point, the customer will see a transaction that initially shows as pending on their card statement. This is a placeholder until the payment is settled through the steps below.

Fraud Monitoring

Our third-party chargeback protection service monitors the transaction after authorization. After authorization, credits are minted to the customer to represent their purchase. Our chargeback provider will then validate the customer's behavior while the transaction is being made. If at any point during this flow the authorization fails or they detect potential fraudulent behavior, the purchase will not be fulfilled.

Payment Capture

After authorization and the fraud check, Coinflow runs the following script that:

  1. Checks authorized cards.
  2. Matches these to transactions that failed the NSure fraud check.
  3. If a transaction fails the auth and fraud check:
  • The credits authorized to the user are burned.
  • The user will receive a refund for the original payment amount within 1 business day.
  1. If the transaction passes the auth and fraud check:
  • The payment is captured, and the pending charge is finalized.


I see a charge on my card, but I haven't received my good/service. What happened?

  • Explain that the transaction was not finalized, and the purchase was canceled.
  • Inform the customer that they will see a temporary pending charge on their statement.
  • Reassure them that the pending charge will disappear within about 24 hours.