So you've finally done the week's food shopping or bought something that was calling for you in the shop window and even though the purchase went through, it's showing up as pending in your bank statement!
No need for a double take! When you make a card purchase with your PIN, the transaction will normally be finalised very quickly. When a transaction is made, it's in the authorisation/pending stage which usually, settles within a few days. You can see how payments work in our article 'So How Does It Work?'
The transaction may remain pending for a while before it's finalised. This doesn't mean you got the item for free though, the money will leave your account! The value can change in-between pending and settled (usually only overseas but can change, e.g. TfL).
The exact timeframe depends on the merchant as they usually finalise their transactions in batches. It's common for them to do this once a day, but some merchants batch their transactions less frequently, resulting in the transactions that stay pending longer.
Usually, the pending charge will disappear when the settled charge is processed, but occasionally, it will linger. This happens when the merchant creates a new transaction when they run the batch, rather than finalizing the existing authorization. The pending charge will drop off on its own, usually after a week or so.