Is there a time limit for pending transactions?


Some transactions seem to go straight to confirmed, others spend a while as pending.

Currently I have the situation where I want to clear my energy account balance as I am switching, and my card payment on Saturday failed, according to the Scottish Power website at the time. Yet it is still listed in my Starling app as pending.

Starling say they can’t do anything (like claim a chargeback) until it’s confirmed. Scottish Power say they can’t see the payment on their system. I have absolutely no idea when it is going to either be reversed (presumably) or even confirmed (others on here have said that they’ve seen transactions declined like this on the website then end up confirmed).

If it gets reversed, no problem I’ll do a bank transfer instead. But obviously I don’t want to do that if it then ends up getting confirmed after all!

It appears I have no option other than wait, and in the meantime I’m out of pocket. That can’t be right, surely!


Technically no there is not a limit. Some banks enforce a limit and if not claimed release it. The only way to release the limit is for TFL to give you the transaction payment number when they tried to collect it, then Starling can release that. There is a technical name for the code but can’t remember of the top of my head.


I was told to ask Scottish Power for the transaction authorisation code.

But they have told me they don’t see the payment on their system and seem to be ignoring my request for this code.


Generally the limit is 30days for standard payments, greater for Hotels/Car hire etc. This allows for deposits and holds on funds for greater periods as required.


We’ve made the decision that if the merchant doesn’t confirm the payment within 7 days, you can expect the authorisation to reverse. You’ll also get a notification when the reversal occurs, usually around 00.30 and 00.45 after the 7th day.

All payments spend some time pending, and are usually confirmed by the merchant within 24-48 hours (which is when you’ll see the status change in-app).


I should add we’ve just checked your contact with us; we’re in the process of reviewing the update you sent us and we’ll be able to get back to you with an update shortly :+1:


Thanks Alexandra that’s really useful to know.

It was as much the vagueness/unknown that was bothering me.


That totally makes sense!

We’re pleased to say based on the information you sent across we’ve been able to lift the authorisation for you. You should be able to see your balance updated in the app now :raised_hands:


Many thanks, that has now indeed been sorted.

Thumbs up for the fast and responsive CS I’ve encountered using Starling so far.