Debit card payment left account immediately, now money has returned

Found 9th Jan 2014
Dear all,

A family member made two rather large identical payments on their debit card for two identical items. The money immediately left their account according to their online banking, then a week later it has reappeared with no history on the online account that they transaction ever happened?

Any idea of this is normal? When should the money clear? What should they look to do?

Any advice would be appreciated before they attempt to use the customer service of their bank or the company as this will take time and hassle. Especially if it's just going to clear in a few days?
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So I'm gathering the person received the goods he or she paid for then? Is it showing in the 'Available Funds' then, rather than in the statement part on the bottom?
Edited by: "rikkif1990" 9th Jan 2014
Original Poster
Yes, they received the goods there and then, it was an in store transaction.

It just appears in their cleared funds, it's actually on their mobile banking rather than online. Just looks like it never actually left.

I suppose the question is, does this normally happen to people? I've never seen it before and I used he same bank and have purchased stuff from the same store, yet it's sadly never happened to me.

Both transactions were separately done, though minutes after each other. It's not a case of dodging the payment as the store has all their details

Edited by: "euphoricmess" 9th Jan 2014
They don't bank with Lloyds do they? Is it anything to do with their 'it's on us' offer?
Original Poster

They don't bank with Lloyds do they? Is it anything to do with their … They don't bank with Lloyds do they? Is it anything to do with their 'it's on us' offer?

no Barclays. That sounds like a great offer though. I've been considering changing, may give them a look
When you do an electronic transaction, there are two stages. The first one is called 'authorization' and the second 'settlement'. After 'authorization' is completed the fund is 'earmarked' by the organization that authorizes your transaction (not necessarily the bank that issued the card). If something goes wrong between the first and the second stage (say the PIN was incorrect or the card pulled out too early), the transaction should be 'reversed', which will clear the 'earmarked' fund. Sometimes due to technical issues this does not happen immediately and it appears that the fund left the account. However if the 'authorization' message is not matched with the 'settlement' message the 'earmarking' will automatically clear, which is what seems to have happened.

Normally cases like this are picked up by the 'recovered sales' process (if the retailer has one), but I hope for your sake it doesn't and you get the items for free, like a New Year present.

Original Poster
Cheers, I thought that was about credit cards, and hence why some don't take certain ones with the delay. Will the company just take the money out their account or will they contact them to take it?
Some Retailers send a daily batch file to the authorization bank to collect money for the transactions that have been processed. And they are based on 'settlement' messages. So, if a transaction completes successfully and there is a 'settlement' message the Retailer will get the money. Else if the transaction was interrupted midway, there will be no 'settlement' and no money for the Retailer.

In this case it appears that the transaction completed without generating a 'settlement' message and therefore the Retailer has not been able to claim the money. Normally Retailers have a store reconciliation process that will pick up the anomaly and send a request to the bank to get money for the goods that were sold. This usually comes with a tolerance factor and if you are lucky the amount might be under that, and the Retailer might write it off as a loss.
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