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Being overcharged when paying for parking with a credit card?

Being overcharged when paying for parking with a credit card?

At parking.com.my, we have received many emails, comments, and PM from our visitors they are being charged extra when they pay their parking fee using the visa Paywave cards. Cardholders were shocked to find out that they were being charged between RM20 and RM50 for their parking upon checking the credit card statements.

This post intends to clear up all the mystery behind this.

Visa payWave at Parking

In the past few years, many parking operators in Malaysia have set up cashless payment methods at the parking lot, mainly Touch ‘N Go & Visa payWave. It is all about going cashless for public convenience.

Either method eliminates the need for parking users to get a parking ticket at the entrance and later pay at the payment terminal before exiting. You can tap your Touch ‘N Go card or payWave cards at the contactless reader at the entrance, park your car as usual, and later tap your card again at the contactless reader at the exit.

This has eliminated some parking hassles – lost parking tickets, insufficient small notes/coins when paying at the parking machine.

What happens when you use your Visa PayWave cards at parking?

When you tap your card at the contactless terminal of the entrance of a parking lot, the system will authorise the transaction and allow you to enter. This is performed by sending a pre-authorisation amount on the payment card to the card issuing bank or card issuer.

What is a pre-authorisation?

A pre-authorisation is a temporary hold of a specific amount from the available balance on a credit or debit card. It is used to verify that the card is active and has sufficient available funds prior to entering the parking lot. It is a guarantee to the parking operator that there are sufficient funds to pay because the parking charges is still not known when you first tap your card.

In short, your bank wants to know if you have enough cash/credit to pay for the parking.

How much is the pre-authorisation amount?

The pre-authorisation is not a charge, and the bank doesn’t debit any funds from your account. However, the available balance on the card is temporarily reduced.

The pre-authorisation amount varies between bank and parking operators. From the messages we have received from our visitors, the amount seems to be between RM20 – RM50. 

When does the pre-authorisation get released from the credit card?

Once you have exit the parking, the actual amount of the parking fee will be sent to your issuing bank.

At this point, the actual amount will be debited from your card account and the pre-authorisation amount is cleared. However, it might take 3-4 days for the amount to be released back to you.

If the pre-authorisation amount doesn’t come back to you in a few days, do contact your issuing bank!

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About Kevin

Kevin is the founder of parking.com.my. Having Engineering as Profession and Entrepreneurship as Passion, he has set up Malaysia Parking Rate Directory back in 2014 as a fun project to learn about website building. Never has he crossed his mind that the website would become the #1 parking information portal in Malaysia.

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