Why don't transactions appear immediately?

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DGenerateKane
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Why don't transactions appear immediately?

Postby DGenerateKane » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:58 pm

I've never understood why it takes 1 or more business days for transactions to appear on statements. I don't know about the others but U.S. Bank's Prepaid Visa card transactions appear immediately, so why can't regular credit cards do it?


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fffresh
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Postby fffresh » Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:01 pm

That's a good question.

I do know the transactions go through immediately and take effect immediately. The amount of the purchase is subtracted from your available credit line immediately despite that purchase not appearing in realtime on your online statements. The change in available credit will be shown in real time.

I will have to do some digging around to find the answer to this.

magyar1045
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Postby magyar1045 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:12 pm

A prepaid Visa card is more or less like an ATM/check card. These types of cards are processed through a completely different system than your run of the mill credit cards. Your run of the mill credit cards do, however almost immediately show a "pending transaction" amount.

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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:16 pm

Why don't credit card purchases go through immediately? I'm kind of disappointed you didn't know the answer to this, Fresh. ;)

It takes a couple days to go through intentionally. Remember that's billions, trillions in transactions. If they can hold onto it an extra day or two, they get interest on it.

What happens is when the merchant sends through the charge to be approved it's subtracted from your credit line immediately, but the transactions are tabulated in "batches" periodically, up to a few days. That's time the creditors have possession of the money and they still get paid interest on it. Meanwhile you, the customer, is charged interest immediately.

In the past there was a class action lawsuit against the credit card industry for this by consumers. It was thrown out quickly because the customers are not injured by it and unfortunately things like that are just a part of business.
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fffresh
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Postby fffresh » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:17 pm

Mogul of Pineapples wrote:I'm kind of disappointed you didn't know the answer to this, Fresh. ;)


Believe it or not, there are a couple things I don't know. :)

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Cucumber
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Postby Cucumber » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:33 am

Can't you make the same argument for an employer? Technically they owe you the money when you perform the work but now many pay only once a month so that gives them a month they can float the money that they either don't have or that they make interest off of. Same difference. ;)
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Postby Multi-Purpose » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:45 pm

There are trillions of dollars in credit card transactions so that is a LOT of money they are making interest off of!
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