Negative Lydia balance after a making a payment with a Lydia card
Lydia card payments must be systematically authorized, meaning that the card will verify that the user has enough money on the Lydia account he or she has indicated as the payment source, before each and every payment.
In certain very specific cases, described below, the Lydia account balance may be negative after using a Lydia card (physical, internet, or contactless).
Cases in which a Lydia account balance could be overdrafted
- When a payment is made in a place with very poor or nonexistent internet connection, such as an airplane.
It may take the airline’s internet network a longer amount of time to communicate information from a user’s application to the network. In the meanwhile, a user might continue to spend his account balance. When information regarding a transaction is finally communicated, the user might not have a sufficient balance for the purchase. The delayed transaction will subsequently overdraft the account balance.
- When the final amount charged to the card is superior to the amount authorized.
- This may happen, for example, when an individual takes the tube in London. When she passes her tube card at the tube entry, a 1 £ authorized is debited. At the end of her tube trip, when she uses the card to exit the tube, she trip costs a total of 5 £. The transaction is authorized in order not to block the user, but could overdraft her account and create a negative balance if she doesn’t have sufficient funds on her account.
- This could also happen during a trip abroad due to exchange rates. If the exchange rate rises between the moment a transaction is made and when it is confirmed (which may take several days), a different amount may be charged and create a negative account balance.
- After several successive purchases, if a payment terminal hasn’t sent validation information for the transaction quickly enough.
The payment will still be made to the merchant, but if there are any technical difficulties in the information sent between the payment terminal and Lydia’s networks, the authorized transaction, and hence the debit, might be delayed by a few minutes. If the user makes other purchases in the meanwhile, it’s possible that his or her Lydia account balance might be insufficient once the delayed transaction is finally debited. The balance will then be overdrafted.
- If a merchant takes a long time to send a positive (or negative) response regarding a transaction, Lydia might recredit the transaction amount in order not to block his funds for too long (a maximum of 10 days). If the merchant finally rectifies the situation and asks that the payment be authorized (asking Lydia to debit the user for the goods or services he or she has purchased), and the user has in the meanwhile spent the money he was recredited, his or her balance could then be overdrafted and become negative.