When I make a payment, my card appears to be double-charged, then credited a few days later.  Why?

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In this article, we will discuss why some banks show three separate transactions for your single payment to Cloudbeds.  When this occurs, your bank will show the following transactions:

  1. An initial transaction that debits your account
  2. A second transaction that debits your account
  3. A third transaction that credits your account, canceling out the first transaction

Situation

In some cases, certain banks will show the three transactions above (debit, debit, credit), rather than a single debit transaction.  This can lead to confusion, as it appears that Cloudbeds is first double-charging your account, and then later applying a credit.  In reality, Cloudbeds is only debiting your account once - but your bank shows the three transactions instead of a single transaction.

Note: this situation appears to occur when the account currency is different from the charged currency.  Example: if your Cloudbeds billing account is set to USD, but your bank account is in Euros, this situation may occur.

 

Example

Cloudbeds - Only one transaction

Using our payment processor's logs (we use Stripe), we can demonstrate that only one transaction was processed by Cloudbeds:

  1. Payment Details show only one transaction
  2. Logs show only one transaction
  3. Events show only one transaction
 

Customer Bank First Transaction

In the example below, you will see the following:

  1. Cloudbeds sent a single debit transaction of $85.00 to the associated credit card on December 24, 2016 at 21:17:32 (Pacific Time).  
  2. At the exact same time (06:17:32 CET) the transaction appears at the customer's bank account with the following data:
    • Amount: 84.57 Euros
    • Date: December 25, 2016
    • Time: 06:17:32 CET
    • Reference Number: 5531530163273033
  3. One second later, at 21:17:33 Pacific, the payment was logged as successful.
 

Customer Bank Second Transaction

For this same payment, the customer's bank created a second transaction five days later with the following data:

  1. Amount: 84.66 Euros
  2. Date: December 29, 2016
  3. Time: 16:06:16 CET
 

Customer Bank Third Transaction

Finally, we see the bank enacted a third transaction, in which the first transaction was credited (refunded) with the following data:

  1. Amount: 84.57 Euros (same as transaction #1)
  2. Date:  January 3, 2017
  3. Time: 18:05:44 ETC
  4. Fecha Valor (Value Date): December 25, 2016 (the same as transaction #1)
  5. Reason: return
  6. Reference # is the same as Transaction #1:  5531530163273033
 
 

Facts

  1. As we can see above, the first transaction was originally debited to the customer's account with transaction number 5531530163273033 on December 25, 2016 for 84.57 Euros
  2. The bank then debited the customer's account a second time on December 29, 2016 for 84.66 Euros
  3. The bank credited the customer's account for the original transaction number 5531530163273033 in the amount of 84.57 on January 3, 2017.

 

 

Conclusions

Based on the facts, we can see that the bank created three transactions, when Cloudbeds created only one transaction:

  1. First debit Transaction
  2. Second debit Transaction'
  3. Credit transaction for the first debit
 

Possible Causes

While Cloudbeds cannot determine exactly why this situatio occurs, we have observed the following possible causes:

  • The bank's currency is different from the Cloudbeds billing currency, and
  • The card type used is Debit (not credit)
 

Recommendations

In order to avoid this situation, Cloudbeds recommends that you set the Cloudbeds billing currency to the same currency as your bank account currency.

 
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