What does a pending transaction mean?

Security · 23 February 2024Richard Johnson

You’ve probably made all sorts of transactions on Revolut — transfers, card payments, currency exchange, ATM withdrawals, or investments in stocks or cryptocurrency.

Depending on the type of transaction, there are different steps happening in the background to complete it. That’s why certain types of transactions (like ATM withdrawals) get completed almost instantaneously, while others can take a few hours.

So when a transaction is marked as ‘pending,’ it simply means it’s waiting in the ‘digital line’ to be processed.

Let’s take a look behind the scenes to see what’s happening when a transfer is pending, and how it completes.

Card payments

After paying with your card, you may have noticed that the transaction status is ‘pending’ in your Revolut app — but the card reader says ‘authorised’ or ‘payment complete.’

​​When making card payments, the money that leaves your account usually won't be received by the merchant for a few days.

During this time, while the transaction is pending, the money is essentially in a third-party holding account waiting to be collected. Once collected, the transaction status will update to ‘Completed.’

If the money isn’t collected within a certain time, the transaction status will change to ‘Reverted’ and the money will be returned to your account.

If a merchant cancels the payment, the transaction will remain pending for a few days. Then the money will be returned to your account once processed.

In either case, you don’t need to do anything — the money will be automatically returned to your account.

To check the maximum time for a transaction to resolve (Completed or Reverted), tap on it in your transaction list.

It can automatically resolve before the mentioned date — but we can’t cancel pending payments before the in-app mentioned date.

Get more info on pending card transactions.

Transfers to a card

When your card transfer is pending, it simply means it's being reviewed, which can delay the transfer.

To check the status of your card transfer, go to Transactions in your Revolut app. If the transfer is still being verified after 1 business day, please contact us.

Card transfers usually complete almost instantly, but can take up to 30 minutes if being reviewed.

If the transfer is pending for 48 hours, it'll be automatically cancelled and the money will be returned to your account.

Transfers to my Revolut account

Transfers to your Revolut account can become pending when we didn’t receive all the information from the sender’s bank.

If this is the case, we reach out to the sender’s bank directly to get the missing information — you don’t need to do anything.

Transfers from yourself or someone else may need to be reviewed due to regulatory requirements. This is standard procedure, and we’ll let you know if we need more information.

Pending top-ups are usually completed within a few hours. If your top-up has been pending for more than 5 business days, please reach out to us.

Bank transfers

As you’re probably aware ‌by now, certain transactions take longer to complete because of the different processes and parties involved.

Bank transfers are no different. They go through multiple stages to validate and process the transaction, and protect both parties against fraud or illegal activity.

This all happens in the background when the bank transfer is initiated. Once the transfer has been submitted by the sender, the money leaves their account and goes to an external party, which might be another bank or central payment institution.

After that, the external party and the recipient’s bank will do their own security checks, before completing the payment.

Despite all these security checks, bank transfers can be completed in as little as seconds — but can take a few days if a transfer is reported as unusual.

We’ll show you the transfer status in your Revolut app.

Why pending transactions are important

Pending transactions play a vital role in safeguarding your finances. They create an extra step in the process, which works as an essential security layer for:

  • Enhanced protection: all transactions receive standard security checks, but while a transaction is pending, it’s essentially receiving extra attention. It makes sure the money is being sent by an authorised person, and that it goes to the correct account.
  • Fraud prevention: our security system might keep a transaction as pending to double and triple-check it’s a legitimate transaction. While we aim to process transactions as fast as possible for your convenience, we must investigate even the slightest hint of suspicious activity to protect you from fraud.
  • Customer safety: our security checks and temporary holds are in place to safeguard you and your money. The last thing either of us want is for you to be a victim of fraud.

At Revolut, your security is our number one priority. We employ strict security measures on every type of transaction — so whether you’re shopping online, paying in-store, or transferring money abroad, you can do it with confidence.

How long will a transaction remain pending?

Depending on the type transaction and the parties involved, transactions can remain pending for a few hours to a few days.

If your transaction has been pending for longer than the time frame mentioned in your Revolut app, please reach out to our support team via in-app chat.

How we can both keep your money safe

Freeze your card: if you don’t recognise a transaction or you’ve lost your card, go to your Revolut Home, tap Cards, and freeze your card. The card will be blocked from making any more transactions

Stay vigilant: keep an eye on your card statements and transaction history. If you spot something unusual, don't wait, take immediate action and report it to us via in-app chat. If you suspect fraud, it’s important you report it to the authorities too

Proactive security measures: sometimes we might restrict or block your card or account if we suspect fraudulent activity, even if you’re unaware of it. If this is the case, please follow the instructions ‌we give you — and don’t answer suspicious calls or share your security information

Respond as fast as you can: if we request documents or additional information to confirm payments or transactions, sending them as soon as possible helps speed up the process

We’re available 24/7: remember, you can reach out to our support team at any time. We're here to help you promptly, answer any questions or concerns, and keep your account safe

Reporting suspicious transactions

Keep calm and notify us: if you notice a transaction you didn’t authorise, don’t worry. Get in touch with our support team right away for immediate assistance.

Or read more about reporting fraudulent activity.

Disputing a transaction

Ordered something online that never arrived? Been charged for a declined transaction?

Refer to our blog posts on chargebacks and how to request a chargeback.

Resolutions and support

We'll guide you through the process of disputing unauthorised transactions, with the goal of resolving the issue swiftly and safeguarding your money.

If you need urgent help with a transaction, don’t hesitate to contact us through the in-app chat — our support team is available 24/7.

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