Payoneer MasterCard Pre-Authorized Payments

The other day I had a bit of a problem with my Payoneer MasterCard. The issue itself was small, as such things go, but it could as well have been big, right? In any case, I have a Payoneer MasterCard into which money from the work that I do online is deposited. I do a bit of freelancing on the internet through Upwork and also have a couple of books available on Amazon’s KDP platform. The few cents that I get from these ventures get deposited into the Payoneer Account.

Why Payoneer is Great

Payoneer is, in my view, one of the greatest ways through which you can get paid for online work. That is particularly the case if, like me, you live in a country where PayPal is not accepted.

Without Payoneer, I would not be able to do much work, including on this blog. If you are a freelancer or do any other type of online work, you can sign up for Payoneer by clicking on the above banner.

The Problem

In any case, the problem arose following a power cut that struck the area of Harare where I live. The thing must have been lightning induced or something.

After waiting it out for a few minutes, I decided to go to the shops to get something to eat. I won’t bore you with the tale of how I wadded knee deep in the rain before getting to the shops.

When I got there, I was relieved to note that everything was working as it should, on account of the big generators that the shops reserve for just such days.


To cut the short story even shorter, when I got to the till and presented my Payoneer MasterCard, the cashier looked at me as if I had dropped down from Mars. Now, that was not particularly surprising. I get that a lot. In some shops I even get told that the card cannot be used. The good thing is that I have been using the Payoneer MasterCard for some time, and now know that I am likely to be successful on either a Steward Bank or a CABS terminal.

Payoneer MasterCard: The Purchase

The purchase that I wished to make was only to the tune of $3 something. After presenting my card to the teller, she inserted it into the Steward Bank swipe machine and I punched in my password.

The Frustration

Imagine my frustration when the transaction failed to go through. The now even more hesitant teller wanted to immediately give up, but I insisted on her trying one more time. Fortunately, everything worked as it should the second time around.

Billed Twice

It was only a day later, when I checked on my computer, that I realized that the first transaction had gone through! I had been charged twice for the transaction! I know, $3 is not much but the whole transaction was still a bit irritating.

Contacting Payoneer

I noticed, after a few days, that one of the transactions had been cleared, while the other remained in the Payoneer pending authorizations section. A few days after the event, I contacted Payoneer through their Facebook page.  I got a reply hours later that clarified the issue. To sum up, here is a summary of how pending authorizations are handled;

  • The moment that you make  a purchase using the Payoneer MasterCard, the required amount is temporarily “pre-authorized.”
  • This is a way through which merchants check that you actually have enough funds in your account to make the purchase.
  • Preauthorization does not, however, mean that the money has been removed from your account. The money remains in a state of suspension, during which, although it remains in your account, you cannot use it.

What Happens when a Payoneer MasterCard Transaction Fails to go Through

You need not panic when a transaction fails to go through, as mine did. The money is automatically returned to your account. It will remain in a pre-authorization state for a few days (up to a week). After this, the money will be returned to your card.

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