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What is the pre-authorisation card check?
What is the pre-authorisation card check?

Information about the £1 pre-authorisation check on payments

Shannon avatar
Written by Shannon
Updated over a week ago

As an anti-fraud measure, we run a pre-authorisation check on all payment cards when you try to hire one of our bikes. Read on for important information about this check and how it will appear to you.

What is the pre-authorisation check?

When you try to hire a Beryl Bike, we make a request to your payment card provider to hold £1 of funds. This means that we can check you have funds available on the card before you unlock the bike.

Once we have confirmation that you have this £1 fund available, we immediately cancel the request and instruct your card provider to release the funds. Our systems are very fast and this entire process takes less than a few seconds, allowing you to unlock a bike and start riding straight away.

This £1 hold is NOT a charge and we never take those funds from your bank account. However, while the £1 hold is active, you usually won't be able to access the funds.

Although we cancel the £1 hold immediately, depending on your bank it may take some time for the funds to be made available to you again.

Why does Beryl run this check?

The pre-authorisation check is an anti-fraud measure. It stops people hiring our bikes with fraudulent payment cards and reduces the number of bikes that are stolen or damaged in a scheme. This in turn improves the scheme for all our genuine users.

Will I see this in my bank account?

All banks treat this pre-authorisation differently and so you may or may not see a line in your statement.

For banks which offer real-time transaction information (eg. Monzo, Revolut), the pre-authorisation hold usually appears with the description "Pending".

For other banks, you may not see anything included on your statement but your available balance will be less than your total balance.

How long will it take for the funds to be released?

Beryl instructs our payment provider to release the funds immediately and this is communicated to your bank in the moment.

Each bank deals with the cancellation notification differently. For many banks, this also happens immediately and your funds are then available to you.
In other cases, the bank will take some time to release the funds.

On rare occasions, your bank will not actively reverse the hold on funds but instead will wait for the hold to expire. This happens automatically after a certain period of time. On these occasions unfortunately we are unable to help and you'll need to contact your bank directly to ask them to release the hold.

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