1. When you spend using a card there are two steps to processing the payment. The first is an instruction to ‘authorise’ a payment, which is when the company you’re spending with checks that your card is valid. At this stage you will see the money taken from your account. The second step is ‘ clearing’, when an instruction is given to approve the payment and it’s sent on its way to whoever you’re spending with.
  2. If this second step ‘clearing’ instruction doesn’t arrive within 10 days of authorising a payment, the money that was authorised simply shows back in your account.
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