How To Tell Your Bank To Block Charges


Taking control of unauthorized charges on your bank account is important. Not only does it keep your finances safe, but it also helps protect against potential fraud or identity theft issues down the line. You also have the right to block or dispute authorized charges for quality issues under the Fair Credit Billing Act.

Knowing how to tell your bank to block charges is essential in today’s digital world. Understanding how canceling pending transactions works and how stop-payment orders work will ensure you remain protected at all times when using online banking services. 

Can I cancel a pending transaction?

Although you can’t necessarily cancel a pending transaction, you can dispute unrecognized or fraudulent charges once they’ve posted. Contact your bank immediately to explain the situation and block further charges.

Depending on the situation, your bank may be able to help you resolve the issue quickly and easily. In the event of fraud or error, you can also contact the merchant directly and ask it to cancel the transaction, but it may recommend you contact the bank directly. 

How does a stop-payment order work?

A stop-payment order is an instruction issued by a customer to their bank telling them not to process any payments made from their account for certain amounts of money or from certain parties. This can be helpful if someone is making unauthorized withdrawals from your account without your permission or if you need extra protection against fraud or identity theft. If you have automatic payments coming out of your account, you can revoke authorization with your bank even if you haven’t canceled with the company. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides a sample letter template you can use to revoke automatic payments.  

Customers can put a stop payment on checks before they are processed.

The process for requesting a stop-payment order varies between banks. Be sure to check with yours for more information about its specific policies and procedures. 

How to cancel a pending transaction

The process of requesting to cancel a pending transaction with a bank or credit card company can vary, but typically it’s fairly straightforward. Before you begin, gather all the necessary information about the transaction. This information includes the full amount of the charge plus any other details, such as the date and merchant name. Once you have this information, there are just a few steps you’ll need to take. 

Step 1: Contact your bank or credit card issuer

Different banks and credit card companies have their own policies on how they handle these situations, so make sure you check their websites or contact them directly before attempting any further action. They may have additional steps that need to be taken for the pending transaction to be canceled successfully, such as providing additional information or filing an official dispute. Either way, you’ll want to contact your bank immediately if you have fraudulent charges. 

Step 2: Explain your situation

Let the representative know why you need to cancel the transaction. There are many valid reasons you’d need to cancel a transaction, such as the quality was not as expected or the seller never sent the item. Maybe it’s a recurring charge for a service or product you no longer need. Whatever the reason, provide as much information as you can to the representative. 

Step 3: Request to block the charges

Request to block the charges by asking the bank representative if they can stop any further payments from going through and request that this action be taken immediately. Depending on the type of charges and the reason you need them blocked, you may need to have the representative cancel your debit or credit card and reissue a new one. 

Step 4: Get everything in writing

Once your request is noted, get everything in writing from the bank representative. Ensure that you have confirmation of your request for cancellation of charges as well as proof the bank has agreed to it. Verbal confirmation isn’t sufficient. Ask the representative to confirm the details you discussed via email or a mailed letter.

Step 5: Monitor your account

Keep an eye on your account or set up notifications so you know when payments are processed. Monitor any new activity or changes in your account balance to make sure nothing else is charged against it without your approval.

What to do if your charges weren’t blocked

If all other attempts at canceling your pending transaction fail, then it might be necessary for you to file an official dispute with your bank or payment provider. This can often take several days and requires additional paperwork on your part but will ultimately result in a cancellation of the transaction if successful. 

Make sure that all forms are filled out correctly and completely before submitting them — incomplete forms are often rejected by banks and payment providers because of missing information that is required for processing disputes properly.  

Block, cancel, or dispute 

It’s important to remember that most banks are willing to work with customers who are facing potential fraudulent activity, but it is up to you as a consumer to stay vigilant and contact them quickly if something seems off with one of your transactions. If you ever find yourself dealing with an unexpected pending charge or other suspicious activity on your accounts, contact your bank right away and ask what the policy is for blocking charges and disputing claims. When blocking or canceling isn’t possible, you have the right to dispute.


How do I stop debit card charges?

To stop pending charges, contact the bank immediately and explain your reason for wanting to stop the charges. It may have the ability to block charges if you act quickly enough.

Can bank charges be reversed?

Bank charges can be reversed. Usually, you’ll need to dispute the charge with the bank or file a chargeback with a credit card company.

Can I block an account from taking money from my bank?

es, you can block an account from taking money from your bank with a stop-payment order. Contact the bank to request this.

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