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Lately I've started encountering this double charge procedure on almost every online payment I do.

For example, I've ordered some food from UberEats and the bill was 20,00€ (€10,00 x 2). I immediately saw a -20,00€ deduction on my bank account. Two days after, I saw a new transaction from UberEats which was -10,00€. The next day another transaction which was again -10,00€. So now in total I have -40,00€ from my bank account for the order of 20,00€. Then again a day later, I received a +20,00€, so in the end everything was good.

I am really curious about why is this happening lately? Why do they double charge you first and then few days later you get your money back. I've also ordered something from Nike (200,00€) and now they double charged me that as well (400,00€).

I really don't like this, that more money is taken than the actual bill. And I'm not being asked for any approval. (Even though the money is later refunded).

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  • what does "€10,00 x 2" mean? were they two separate orders? were they from two restaurants? Jun 5, 2020 at 9:59
  • @mhoran_psprep Two items from the same restaurant. The bill I got was 10,00€ x 2 and the total was 20,00€. I’ve googled something more about this and came to a conclusion it could be something related to “Authorization” transactions.
    – Dino
    Jun 5, 2020 at 10:18
  • What's the bank and payment method? It could be to do with how they are reporting the transactions to you. Jun 5, 2020 at 10:27
  • @Apologise to Monica, I've used Wirex for Nike and I use Caixabank for UberEats. Both paid with debit card.
    – Dino
    Jun 5, 2020 at 11:05
  • Have you ordered from these places with the said banks before... and there were no issues?
    – Dheer
    Jun 6, 2020 at 2:45

1 Answer 1

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Similar things have happened to me when using a debit card (in my case Maestro) where people typically use credit cards. It's also common if you come from a country where debit card are dominant (e.g. Netherlands or Germany) and you travel to a place were nearly all bank accounts come with a credit card (e.g. France).

The reason this is happening is that the typical transaction when ordering online through a third-party platform, renting a car, booking a hotel, fueling up at a self-service petrol station involves three steps:

  1. The provider or platform runs a credit card pre-authorization or autorization hold for the expected amount of the goods or services (and sometimes quite a bit more, e.g. when renting a car). At that point, the exact amount is not necessarily known but the provider has some guarantee that you can pay.
  2. The transaction is initiated (e.g. the restaurant gets your order, a delivery person is dispatched, or you get the rental car).
  3. When the transaction is completed (e.g. you confirm reception of the goods or you return the car), the provider or platform settles the transaction.

Had you use a traditional (Visa/Mastercard) credit card, the pre-authorization would be shown as such on a separate credit card statement and the amount would never be withdrawn from your current account until step 3. With a debit card, there is no separate card statement or deferred payment so even a pre-authorization results in the money being withdrawn from your bank account.

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  • This should not show on your statements however. In The Netherlands e.g. when you go to an unmanned gas station you enter your debit card and a reservation is made. Shown on the terminal as "you can now purchase up to € 200.00". But if your balance is lower and you can't overdraft the lower balance amount is shown. This indicates that a reservation is made. After you finish the reservation is cancelled and the actual amount is withdrawn. But I've never seen that reservation part on my statements. Apr 11 at 6:11
  • @PaulPalmpje Statements as in paper you get in the mail? I have stopped getting those more than a decade ago so I wouldn't know. Instead, I checked my online banking tools (app, website) and there it looked exactly like a €200 transaction. Eventually, it will be replaced by the actual transaction but it can be a week or more before that happens.
    – Relaxed
    Apr 11 at 18:54
  • sure online, app whatever. I've not seen a paper statement in ages either. Just a way of saying it. Apr 12 at 5:57
  • @PaulPalmpje Well in the app it does eventually disappear but while it's being processed then yes, it did look like a regular transaction. Worse, it actually looked like two transactions : first the €200 charge that is eventually reversed then immediately following it the actual charge, both of them listed and impacting my balance for a week. That's what threw me off the first time I saw it, I have actually never used my Dutch debit card for this purpose after that.
    – Relaxed
    Apr 13 at 10:53
  • What it looks like in an app depends entirely on how your specific bank chooses to handle things like this. I don't think there's any standard: some hide the reservation, knowing that it isn't final. Others show it, because it is money that's not in your account. It may depend on whether you have overdraft protection, although I have no information to back that up.
    – Bobson
    Apr 15 at 10:09

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