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What is a TST charge?

A "TST" charge in your credit card activity is partly processed by a company called Toast. TST is an abbreviation for the company and is included in the transaction description because the label helps define the record of the transaction.

While it might sound a tad technical, allow us to explain a bit more about the payment processor Toast and its role in your credit card purchases.

What is Toast?

Simply put, Toast is a system for processing payments that many businesses use. A similar well-known company in the payment processor industry is TouchBistro.

Businesses can usually choose the payment processor they use for customers' transactions. You may not always notice a difference when you're checking out with your credit card.

What is a payment processor?

When you make a purchase with your debit card or credit card, there are several ways you can pay. You might swipe, tap or insert your card's chip, or you could use the digital wallet on your smartphone. Regardless, the payment must be processed, and that involves a payment processor.

In a credit card transaction, a payment processor allows the credit card company and the merchant to communicate data. This happens almost instantly, then the transaction is usually listed as pending (see below) in your credit card activity.

Physical stores and digital storefronts may have different systems and networks for processing payments from customers. In a store, the merchant will use a physical device to accept your card payment. To pay online or through a merchant's app, you'll need to enter your card and other details. After you pay, the payment processing happens behind the scenes.

Why does Toast put a TST charge on credit cards?

Any company processing a payment is usually included in the transaction record. On your credit card statement, each transaction has a description, not just an amount. The description is likely where the payment processor will be.

For a transaction processed by Toast, the TST label is a brief but important piece of the record that stays in your credit card activity.

Understanding pending charges on credit cards

In your credit card activity, you might see two separate line items for one transaction. Both line items could appear as “pending." One could be for the amount you paid, and the other is for another amount, sometimes as little as a few cents. This amount should disappear around the time the full amount of your transaction processes successfully.

Should I worry about a TST credit card charge?

Seeing a TST charge in your credit card activity should not be concerning. Ideally, all the information about a transaction you see in your credit card activity should help you identify specific purchases or payments. Sometimes, the words could be concise or abbreviated, which may make it hard to decipher. Like the transaction amount and other parts of the description, the TST abbreviation is important for your credit card's record of the transaction.

If you don't recognize activity on your credit card, contact your credit card company right away.