Under normal circumstances, if any payment is attempted that exceeds the available Funds on the Osper Card the transaction will be declined, however in some rare circumstances, a transaction may take your Osper Card into a negative balance.
In some limited cases, we may be able to claim the money back if it has been taken inappropriately. However, in most cases we would ask that you load money onto the card to make the balance positive.
Osper never charges for a card balance going negative.
Offline Transaction (i.e Trains, Airplanes)
When making a purchase for a train ticket or on an airplane, the company may not be able to contact Osper to seek authorisation. In these circumstances, to make sure you can still buy the ticket, the company will put through the transaction without contacting Osper first.
Over the next few days, the company will then process the transaction and as they have provided goods or a service they are allowed to take these funds from the card even if there is not enough money on the card to cover the full amount.
A transaction can only be processed this way by a small number of companies, the most common are train tickets purchased on the train itself.
When you make a purchase with your Osper card, we will receive an electronic request to verify that you have enough money on the card to make the payment and you are allowed to make that purchase. When we approve a payment (called an authorisation) the money is held on your card for the seller to collect later and will be unavailable for you to spend. This will show up on your Osper card timeline as a successful purchase.
The next working day the seller's bank should get in touch with Osper to ask for the payment we are holding. Sometimes this may take a few extra days and they are allowed up to 7 days to collect the money though we give them up to 10 days (in case of Christmas and bank holidays). After the 10th day we automatically release the money back onto the card. This will look like a refund on the card.
In some cases, there may have been an issue with the seller's bank which means they have not collected the money within those 10 days. As they have an authorisation number from Osper they can still collect the money from the account. If they do this and you have already spent the money that was returned earlier, this can leave the balance negative on the cards.
There are some circumstances where a company will let you travel, book or hire something before you have paid. This includes travelling on TFL using a contactless card.
The company will check that the card is valid by making a small request for approval, they will then let you use the service. As many of these services do not know the full cost until you finish your travel or return the item they will not try and bill you until you have finished.
In these circumstances when they have been unable to get approval from Osper, they can then claim the money as you have used the service. If you do not have enough money to cover the balance this can then lead to a negative balance.