Manage pending transactions

Learn about real-time authorization (RTA) pending transactions

Anna Allen avatar
Written by Anna Allen
Updated over a week ago


This article provides background information about real-time authorization (RTA) pending transactions. It also provides steps for managing your pending transactions.


The information in this article applies to U.S. Bank customers and Elan customers (both administrators and employees) who are using a physical U.S. Bank card.

What is a pending transaction?

A pending transaction is a transaction that has not yet been processed, or “posted” by a merchant.

For example, if you use your card to get gas, you may see a pending transaction on your TravelBank account for $1.00, even though you know you spent a total of $30.00.

The $1.00 pending transaction appears because the merchant hasn’t processed the $30.00 transaction yet. The $1.00 charge is like a placeholder until the merchant processes the transaction, and until then, the transaction retains that tentative, or pending, amount and status.

This may take some time (sometimes a few days) depending on the merchant.

Once the merchant processes the transaction, the transaction transitions from a pending transaction to a posted expense in TravelBank, and the full amount appears (like the $30.00 from the previous example).

Manage pending transactions

Using the TravelBank web app

To view your pending transactions from the TravelBank web app, select “Expenses & Transactions” in the TravelBank left navigation menu.

Expenses and Transactions option from the TravelBank left navigation menu, text is highlighted for emphasis

Figure 1. Expenses & Transactions in the TravelBank left navigation menu

When you have a pending or declined transaction, you receive a push notification on your mobile device. When you select the notification, it takes you directly to the Expenses & Transactions page (see Figure 2) in the TravelBank app.

Two cell phone screens side by side: Pending and declined transactions notifications on the left, and Expenses and Transactions page on the right

Figure 2. Pending transactions notification, Expenses & Transactions page

On the Expenses & Transactions page for both web and mobile, pending transactions are in the top section, and posted expenses are in the bottom section. Both debit and credit transactions can show as pending. All of the transactions that appear on this page are transactions that you can take some action on, unlike declined transactions, which are for informational purposes only (see the “View declined transactions” article).

Note: Notice the pending transactions and posted transactions have different icons.

To see help text for the pending transactions, select the information icon by the Pending section heading.

Pending transactions help text pop-up reading: These transactions are pending authorization and the final posted amount may vary. You can assign, merge or submit pending transactions after they are posted.

Figure 3. Pending transactions help text

Once the pending transaction gets posted, it moves to the general list, where you can find it by the transaction date. From there, you can add or edit information in additional fields and submit a report including that expense.

Expenses and Transactions page with the pending section and posted expenses sections separately outlined for emphasis and an arrow from the pending section to posted section

Figure 4. Pending transactions transitioning to posted expenses

If after 30 days a pending transaction was never posted (for example, in the case of hotel incidental holds), the transaction is automatically removed from the Expenses & Transactions page.

Start your expense from a pending transaction

To take action on a pending transaction:

  • Web: Select the transaction from the Expenses & Transactions page. This opens an Expense Details page with several fields.

  • Mobile app: Tap the notification, and it takes you directly to the pending transaction.

Because pending transactions are tentative in nature, some actions that you might take on posted expenses are not available for pending transactions; the fields for these actions are grayed out. For instance, you cannot split, submit, or remove a pending transaction. (You can split and submit a transaction once it is posted.)

Other fields, such as the merchant, transaction amount, and date, are automatically filled for pending transactions. Once a transaction is posted, the amount updates with the final amount.

You are not required to take action on pending transactions, but adding details to a pending transaction speeds up the expense process. If you want to edit any transaction information at this point, you have the following options:

  • Add a photo receipt.

  • Change the category.

  • Select a department.

  • Complete any custom fields. (See “Expenses: Custom Fields” article for steps on how to set up custom fields.)

  • Add a description.

  • Set the transaction as billable to customer.

  • Select “Save Expense”.

If you’ve completed these fields, once the pending transaction is posted the expense is complete and ready to be submitted.

Expense Details page, showing all available actions you can take on pending transactions

Figure 5. Available actions for pending transactions

Once a pending transaction is posted

Once a transaction is posted, you can update additional fields as needed, including the split expense information and assign to a report field. You can also now submit a report with that expense.

Need help?

If you need help, contact the TravelBank support team:

  • From the website or mobile app: Open the TravelBank left navigation menu and select “Chat with us”.

Publish date: November 27, 2023

Last update: April 20, 2024

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