Have you ever transferred money to a friend or stranger by mistake? Do you ever wonder how to get your money back? In this article, I’ll be showing you how to reverse money sent by mistake. If you’ve ever transferred money to the wrong bank account, this guide will teach you how to get your money back.
About 11% of all bank transfers worldwide performed via ATM and mobile phones are mistaken 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 easily leave you in a lifetime of debt if not rectified. Since this mistake maybe from your end the bank may not take it seriously.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Mistaken Bank Transfer?
- Causes of Mistaken Bank Transfer
- Reasons why mistaken bank transfer occurs
- Best Ways Reverse a Wrong Bank Transfer
- How to Avoid a Mistaken Bank Transfer
What Is a Mistaken Bank Transfer?
A mistaken bank transfer simply happens when a person transfers money to a wrong account. Unlike an unauthorized transaction 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 that occurs 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. One wrong number when inputting an account number or even selecting the wrong payee from your contact list can cause a mistaken bank transfer.
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.
One simple 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 other times it’s from the bank’s systems. If you feel like you’ve made transferred money to another person by mistake, these are some of the reasons why it happened.
This is the most common reason for a mistaken bank transfer. By simply typing a wrong account number or beneficiary, your money is sent to the wrong bank account.
Technical errors are caused by an error in the transaction from the bank’s end. This is caused by technical glitches in the bank servers, network errors, or memory overload.
These factors may affect the process of the transaction and cause it to be transferred to the wrong account. But once these problems are noticed, the bank would correct it automatically.
Best Ways 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.
If you want to reverse a mistaken bank transfer, these are the best ways to do to complete the process.
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 you 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 easily 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 was 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 money to for 48 hours only (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 make 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. If he refuses to return your money, you’ll have to take legal actions.
If the unintended beneficiary claims that the money in his account is his and not yours and there is no mistake involved. The best course of 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 important 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 that 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 would 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 consent of the recipient 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
Like 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.
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, 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 actually making any transaction. If you feel like your 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 it’s your hard-earned cash that 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.