How To Reverse A Mistaken Bank Transfer Within 24 Hours

How to Reverse a Mistaken Bank Transfer

When you make a bank transfer, the money leaves your account and goes to the receiving account. The chances of reversing a transaction are slim but not impossible. This post will discuss how to reverse a mistaken bank transfer.

Have you ever transferred money to a friend or stranger by mistake? Do you ever wonder how to get your money back? I’ll show you how to reverse money sent by mistake in this article. This guide will teach you how to get your money back if you’ve ever transferred money to the wrong bank account.

Mistakes happen all the time when transferring money from one account to another. This can occur due to negligence or an error on the part of the sender or receiver. The most common mistake happens when the sender mistakes the account number, name, or bank.

The CBN operates NUBAN account numbers, which are unique to each customer. However, we now understand some customers do have the same account number but different banks. The banking apps can mistakenly populate the wrong beneficiary and bank. If you do not cross-check before transferring, the money could be sent to the wrong beneficiary.

About 11% of all bank transfers worldwide performed via ATMs and mobile phones are mistakenly transferred to another user’s bank account. This means over $14 billion are sent by mistake to the wrong bank account every month.


Mistaken bank transfers can quickly leave you in a lifetime of debt and anguish if not rectified. Since this mistake may be from your end, the bank may not take it seriously.

What Is a Mistaken Bank Transfer?

A mistaken bank transfer simply happens when someone transfers money to the wrong account, unlike an unauthorized transaction(fraud) that occurs when someone uses your bank information to transfer or withdraw funds from your bank account without your knowledge or consent.

A mistake bank transfer is more of an accident resulting from errors when inputting your payee details. This is one problem that millions of people face worldwide.

Transferring money from one bank account to another involves inputting digital details. But accidents sometimes occur. When inputting an account number or selecting the wrong payee from your contact list, one wrong number can cause a mistaken bank transfer.

This is a big problem that many people throughout the world are dealing with. If this has happened to you, you can take steps to reverse the transaction immediately and avoid unnecessary fees.

This is why you should check every detail closely before sending any funds. So, what do you do when you make a Mistaken Bank transfer?

Causes of Mistaken Bank Transfer

Depending on the transfer method you used, mistaken transactions are quite rare. Transferring money involves inputting a payee’s bank details and amount.

A straightforward mistake when inputting the digits in an account number or even selecting a similar name is all it takes for a mistaken transaction to happen.

Reasons why mistaken bank transfer occurs

There are a lot of reasons why mistaken bank transfer happens. Sometimes the error is from your end and others from the bank’s systems. If you feel like you’ve transferred money to another person by mistake, these are reasons why it happened.



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Human Error

This is the most common reason for a mistaken bank transfer. Simply typing the wrong account number or beneficiary means your money is sent to the wrong bank account.

Technical Errors

A minor error escalates into technical errors in the transaction from the bank’s end. Technical glitches cause this in the bank servers, network errors, or memory overload.

These factors may affect the transaction process and cause it to be transferred to the wrong account. However once these problems are noticed, the bank would correct them automatically.

Best Ways to Reverse a Wrong Bank Transfer

I know how annoying it is to transfer money to another person by mistake. Transferring money to another person by mistake is not funny in any way.

These are the best ways to complete the process if you want to reverse a mistaken bank transfer.

1. Fallacious transfers

If the account number you credited does not exist, the money will be returned to your account automatically. This is the easiest way to reverse a mistaken bank transfer. You don’t have to go to the bank for anything.


As long as the account number on the receiving end does not exist, your money will be returned to you. This is by far the easiest way to reverse a mistake bank transfer.

2. Known Beneficiary

This is a more advanced way to get your money after you’ve made a transfer by mistake. Here, the fund transferred is not to the intended party but a close relative or friend.

For instance, you want to transfer $36 to your brother, Dave Peters, but the money was mistakenly sent to your uncle, who also bears Dave Peters. You’ve just transferred money by mistake to your uncle.

If you know the beneficiary, you can quickly contact the person, narrate the ordeal, and request a refund immediately. I’m sure he/she would understand and return your money to you.

If the whole thing is taking too long, try to inform your bank or your financial institution as soon as you notice what is wrong, and they will help you get your money back.

3. Unknown Beneficiary

This is a more rigorous way of reversing a mistaken bank transfer. Here, the money was not delivered to the intended or a relative but a total stranger. You’ve just sent money to another person across the world.

If it is an active bank account or the beneficiary is unknown to you, you contact your bank immediately using your bank customer care line or mail. Once they receive your complaint, they will investigate the matter and help you get your money back.

You should know that the bank customer service center will require the amount sent, account name, account number, transaction date, transaction time, and transaction ID to investigate your request.

If you can give them enough facts, the bank will freeze the account of the person you sent the money to for only 48 hours (2 days). During this time, your bank will have only 20 days to investigate the case, contact the person, and reach out to his bank to take action.

If he agrees that it was a mistaken transaction and makes a formal reversal by signing the required documents that will authorize the bank to reverse the transaction and refund your money, then you get back your money.

He can also solve the problem by sending you your money, so his account will be unblocked. You’ll have to take legal action if he refuses to return your money.

If the unintended beneficiary claims that the money in his account is his and not yours, there is no mistake involved. The best action is to take legal action or take him to the police.

You’ll need your ID card, bank statement, address, transaction messages, transaction ID, and testimony of your intended beneficiary as proof. It is essential to keep a record of your complaints.

Banks are also required by law to have a copy of the written complaints process. Once you file a case with all this evidence, the thief who wants to steal your money will stand no chance.

When you win, the thief will be fined for theft. When you provide a copy of your court order or indemnity form to the bank, the transaction will be reversed, and your account will be refunded.

You should know that the bank cannot return your money if the person you mistaken transfer to does not agree to it.

That means that if the thief claims that the money in his account is his and not yours and there is no mistake involved in the transfer, the bank cannot give you your money.

No funds can be moved without the recipient’s consent, and you won’t get your money back. Intra-bank transactions may be complicated but follow similar procedures.

How to Avoid a Mistaken Bank Transfer

As I said earlier, transferring money to someone by mistake is a very painful mistake. It is super easy to avoid transferring money to people by mistake. Just in case you don’t know, these are the best ways to avoid transferring your money by mistake.

1. Double-Check

Prevention is better than cure. Double-check the account number before making the transaction. No law requires the bank to verify all the details for you.


You can also transfer in bits after the intended recipient confirms the transaction, and transfer the rest after he receives the first alert.

2. Use an e-payment code

It protects you every time you make an electronic payment. These are the easiest ways to avoid and reverse a mistaken bank transfer. Whenever you want to make a transfer, make sure that you have an e-payment code activated on your end.

3. Use your bank app

Bank apps allow you to confirm the transaction details before making any transaction. If you feel like you are not comfortable using USSD codes to make transactions, then use your bank app to make the whole ordeal much easier.

If you’ve ever made any transfer by mistake, get the bank involved immediately and reply to the bank messages as quickly as possible. Try to follow up on the situation daily.

Request for updates and learn how the matter is being handled. Don’t rely on what you’re told because your hard-earned cash is at stake. Follow up the matter vigorously. 

If your calls are not taken seriously, head to the bank immediately, see the branch manager, or mail the problem in detail to their head office for better communication.  

4. Use Escrow Services

One of the best ways to avoid this situation is to use an escrow service for large transactions. If you are using a bank account for receiving payments from clients, it may be wise to use an escrow service from one of the many providers who offers such services. An escrow service is an intermediary between two parties (the seller and the buyer) who holds all funds until it can be confirmed that both parties have received what was agreed on in their contract (if applicable).


Rectifying a mistaken bank transfer within 24 hours requires swift action and clear communication. Contact your bank immediately, provide accurate details of the transaction, and follow any specific procedures they outline. Time is of the essence, so act promptly to increase the chances of a successful reversal. Remember, open communication with your bank is key to resolving the issue efficiently.

8 thoughts on “How To Reverse A Mistaken Bank Transfer Within 24 Hours”

  1. Precious O

    My bank UBA is asking me to get a court order of over 35,000 for an erroneous transfer of 16,000, while they can help retrieve the money. Is that not wickedness? I’m closing the account

    1. I used to think that UBA was a good bank but it’s actually one of the worst Nigerian banks. Their banking policies are the worst even though they have good service. Go for GTB, Zenith, or First bank.

      With that said, banks do not have the right to move people’s money without their permission. In cases like reversing mistaken transfers, a court order is necessary. If that is too expensive for you, talk to the manager of the branch and request the contact information of the person you transferred money to so he can return it to your account.

      Most managers would say no, but you only need one yes to get your money back.

      I wish you good luck and hope you get your money back.

  2. My wife is also going similar issue for over two weeks at Access Bank. She tried withdrawing at a POS. She was debited but the agent never got the money. She had been to the bank, sent emails, contact via social all to no avail. All she hears is that the issue is being resolved. Just yesterday she was sent an indemnity form that Incase the money is not paid back she would be responsible

  3. Atusa Hope

    In my situation the transfer was done in the banking hall by the staff but the money was wrongly transfer to another bank account. court orders is obtained and sent yet the money is not sent back. Advise what do I do next?

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