3 months ago, I went on a holiday to Namibia and I bought a diamond from the official national mine. My boyfriend paid part of it and I paid for the balance. Both of us used our debit cards from different banks (Barclay's/Nationwide). None of our accounts have been debited yet. We are quite worried because we have to think of keeping quite a large amount of money on our accounts at all times and the exchange rate is not moving favourably with time. As far as I understand debit cards payments are supposed to be debited straight away from your account. All the other payments I made during my holidays went straight out of my account. So how come a larger amount did not? Does anyone know how long are banks authorised to delay? I cannot find any information on the net...Any advice would be very welcome!
As far as I am aware, there is a time limit on presenting the payment to the bank (same as cheques) but am not absolutely sure. It is probably worthwhile to check the terms and conditions of your account, and speak to both banks as well to find out what their policy is. In the mean time, you may find some usefull information here: http://www.moneymadeclear.fsa.gov.uk/
Call my bank is an idea, I would have to find their number first...Maybe I should drop by and beg them to take my money! The Namibians have my contact details so they must have received their money on their side otherwise they would have already called me. Ah well, I should just close my account and flee the country on another holiday...
I've even found debit card payments made in this country to take some time to go through, while others appear same day. I often find payments to Boots can take over a week to show up, and I once paid for food at Thorpe Park by card which took almost a month to come out of my bank!
I don't know how this would work in an international situation but if it was UK law you would still owe the money. I believe you would be holding it on constructive trust. In UK law the other side would have 6 years to make a claim from you. Again this is more complex because you are dealing with a jeweller in Nimibia.