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Pre-Authorisation – Why is there a ‘funds hold’ on my card?

What is pre-authorisation?

When you insert your credit or debit card the outdoor payment terminal (OPT) sends a request to your bank to confirm your account has enough available funds. Your bank will debit your account immediately, to effectively reserve the pre-authorisation amount. The amount held will either be NZ$250, or the lower amount you've entered at the outdoor payment terminal.

This hold of funds may appear like a transaction - be assured it will reverse, but the timeframe does vary by bank. It can be immediately, or up to 3 or 4 days, and unfortunately much longer for international visitors (14 days or more).

Who has my money?

In all cases it is the bank who is holding onto your funds. No money is held by Allied Petroleum - we only charge you for the fuel pumped.

Why can it take so long for the pre-authorisation amount to be released?

Allied Petroleum understands a delay can cause frustration. Each bank has their own protocols, however please note the following scenarios may cause a delay in the release of your funds:

  • A zero dollar transaction. If the pump is authorised and fuel not dispensed, the preauthorisation amount will be reserved until released from the bank. Lifting and dropping the nozzle or taking too long to start dispensing fuel from the pump may cause this.
  • A big difference between the pre-authorisation amount and the amount dispensed. If only a small amount of fuel is dispensed it may raise a potential fraud alarm at the bank and result in delays to the pre-authorisation being released.
  • A pump fault, power cut or other problem may result in a zero dollar transaction.
  • Frequent exceeding of your credit limit, slow payment of your due balance or account activity that may raise an alarm at your bank for further investigation. Releasing of pre-authorisations is the responsibility of your bank. Contact your bank with any questions.

What can I do?

In almost all situations, pre-authorisation works extremely well. However if you are concerned about the potential inconvenience caused by the pre-authorisation process we’d suggest ensuring you’ve plenty of credit available at the time of your purchase, or a second payment option.

To request a quicker release on any pre-authorisation, or to discuss this transaction protocol further, please contact your bank directly.