How do card payments work?
The card verification process involves several factors, such as issuing bank, type of terminal or card processor. For example, if the cardholder’s bank and the terminal administrator’s bank are the same, transactions executed through such terminal may be verified in a completely different manner than for cards issued by another bank. This applies both in the Czech Republic and abroad.
There are two types of card transactions, depending on the verification mode: online transactions and offline transactions.
Today, most transactions are verified online. In case a card payment did not affect your account balance right away, it was probably processed offline and your account will be debited within a few days. Therefore, you need to take such transaction into account and have sufficient account balance.
Why are there two verification methods when I want to see my transactions immediately – i.e. when I want everything online?
In the world of payments, there are some terminals that are only set up for offline verification. Offline verification is most commonly used for smaller amounts, such as self-service parking or vending machines or when making road, tunnel or bridge tolls abroad.
In case of mobile payments in the form of Apple Pay, Google Pay, Garmin Pay or Fitbit Pay, transactions are always verified online. We love mobile payments, same as you, but if you exceptionally come across a terminal that does not support online transactions, your payment will be declined. This is why we advise you to always have your payment card with you so that we can guarantee a payment goes through – and we can, with offline card transactions.
Today, the vast majority of card transactions are verified online. Online payments only take a few seconds. A payment terminal usually displays brief information about the online verification process during the payment. It is necessary to verify that your account balance is sufficient and that your card is still valid. Consequently, it is necessary to establish connection between a merchant, merchant’s bank, card association (Visa / Mastercard), and the issuing bank. Once a payment is verified, you will receive your goods together with a receipt. It is useful to keep the receipt from the terminal if you later need to file a complaint about a transaction. In case you have activated card payment notifications in Mobilní banka, you will also receive a push notification to your mobile phone once the payment is completed.
Offline transactions do not mean that there is a system failure on the part of the bank or terminal – it is only a different transaction verification method that only affects your account balance after the transaction is received from the relevant merchant. This may even take several days, depending on the terminal settings. Therefore, you need to take such transaction into account and have sufficient account balance.
Offline transactions are mainly used for smaller amounts that do not require instant verification. At the time of an offline transaction, it is only uploaded to a merchant’s terminal. A payment terminal usually displays brief information about the offline verification process during the payment. You will not be able to see the relevant transaction in your Internet banking (e.g. MojeBanka or Mobilní banka) until the merchant submits all payments for processing; consequently, your disposable balance will not be reduced. During each day, offline payments line up in a “batch” in the merchant’s payment system. These batches are then transferred several times a day or every few days at the most – depending on the merchant type and type of the bank that owns the terminal. The merchant’s bank subsequently submits a settlement order to the card issuing bank. Once we receive the relevant transaction, it is recognised, your disposable account balance is reduced, and the transaction is shown in your Internet banking transaction history.