Reverse Bank Transfer: You go to the bank with the intention of repaying your insurance, but somewhere along the line you input the wrong details and the funds are transferred to a different account! What should you do?

About ten years back, this would have been a hands-on job where speaking face-to-face with a bank teller was required. And ten years later, transactions are made quickly and seamlessly via online transactions using bank apps, websites or even BPay.

Reverse Bank Transfer: The act of transferring money to another person via the internet requires the general following:

  • A commonly 6-digit BSB number
  • A person’s account number (up to ten digits)
  • Linked phone number or email address

By knowing just these simple things mentioned above, it’s easy for someone to make a payment, yet it also gives one a bigger window for making mistakes. One forgotten or mistyped number often means you could be paying it to a totally different person, a stranger. By looking at figures from 2015, ASIC observed as much as 83% of erroneous payments were a result of incorrect bank details entered.


Reverse Bank Transfer: Anyone might not notice something like $5 but when it amounts to hundreds or even thousands of dollars’ worth of unintentional transfer what else could you do? There’s no need to panic, because you need to stay calm and follow these steps to retrieve your lost dollars!

If you know them, ask the person!

Reverse Bank Transfer: First, there are simpler courses of action to be taken. Especially if the funds were transferred by accident to those in your circle; a friend, family or even workmate. Blunders are bound to happen and just ask, to have your money returned. This one simple step would largely help you avoid the following:

Say you don’t actually know the person or approaching them might be too awkward; you would have to proceed in contacting the bank you sent it through. The Financial Ombudsman Service Australia (FOS) advised three common situations that would affect how long until you receive your money:

  • Less than 10 business days
  • Between 10 business days and 30 weeks
  • Over 30 weeks

According to the Financial Ombudsman, contacting your bank and claiming your lost funds within 10 business days of the mistaken transfer, can have your funds easily returned in full. The bank will need to be the intermediary between yourself and the bank institution of which the erroneous transfer was made, to confirm the mistake and have the funds returned.


Between 10 business days and 30 weeks

Reverse Bank Transfer: In most cases, you would still be able to get your funds back, despite it being a bit slower. If you contact the bank after ten days and within 30 weeks (or 7 months) of the transaction, the bank of the recipient must freeze the account and notify said receiver whom has ten more days to prove if the money belongs to them. This would be the hard part as most human beings are not likely to want to part with free cash! And once they cannot prove that this portion of money belongs to them (they shouldn’t be able to if it really was an accident on your part), the funds can then be released and returned.

More than 30 weeks

Say that you notice the missing funds only after it has been more than 30 weeks after the transaction, things might just get harder. Ombudsman and the ASIC’s ePayments code state that both the bank and the wrong recipient are not obligated to return your funds, unless of course, they want to. Unless the recipient of the mistaken transfer agrees to return the funds, don’t expect this to happen too often. Call the bank as soon as possible!


Contacting your bank after the error

Reverse Bank Transfer: When reaching out to the bank, make sure you have all the details such as the transaction date, total transferred and account details at the ready to smooth over the process. This can be done by either visiting a branch (if there is one), or via mobile (call or email).

The previously mentioned ePayments code safeguards Australians from mistakes such as these. The code states that the bank must make an attempt to reverse the mistake if they have been notified within the ten day period, at the same time maintaining the rights to verify of you are ineligible in particular scenarios. However, BPAY payments are not covered.

Will I not be able to receive the money? ASIC states that certain activities will refrain the bank from returning you the amount such as:

  • Fraudulent actions
  • PIN number or password were not kept confidential
  • Negligence on card (leaving it in the ATM)
  • Delay notification of the funds by any means

Reverse Bank Transfer: The mentioned steps does not mean you won’t have a chance at getting your money back, but it will decrease them. And do keep in mind that money sent for illicit purposes will not be returned. However, if you have obliged to the rules and the bank has yet to pull their weight in fixing this mistake, do lodge a dispute with Australia’s Financial Ombudsman Service.


I received money I wasn’t expecting

Reverse Bank Transfer: Remember the saying: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is? Receiving a large amount of cash from an unknown bank account is probably one of the times this saying relates to. That cash does not belong to you which is why you should send it back. If the money was incorrectly sent, contact your bank immediately.

Getting by in period between

 Say the unwanted does happen and you’ve sent some money by mistake to the wrong person or an extra digit was added to the amount and you’ve sent a total of $10 000 when you meant to send only $1 000. Yes, you can get it back, but you still need to wait a few days! It could be all your money that you sent away so what can you do in the meantime?

Contact your bank and avoid overdraft fees

Falling into the negative amounts in your account can rack up a charge on over drafting, although banks these days have strong competition, and some charge no overdraft fees. The fees can be charged up to $10 which may not look like much, but being charged such an amount whilst waiting for your funds to be returned could make you feel like you’re being robbed twice. When placing the call regarding the wrong transaction, don’t forget to let them know about your situation to have over drafting fees waived!


What are your credit options?

Reverse Bank Transfer: While using these options may get you by for the time being, keep in mind there also have limitations:

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) have small caps and charge late fees

Credit cards are often the cause of debt traps with high interest rates, especially if they are not paid off fully

Personal loans and high interest rates are hard to separate and harder to know which lenders are trust-worthy and non-predatory

Until you can get your finances on a leash, these are the temporary options you could consider although they come with a bite-back price.

Emergency funds to the rescue

This would be slightly less helpful if you currently have not saved up, but emergency funds worth at least three months’ is often helpful for these situations. The BT Financial Group reported that at least 21% of Australians do not have emergency funds. Similarly, the Citi Group conducted a study whose results showed 36% of working adults have less than three months wage saved for emergencies, whereas one out of ten adults face high chances of falling into debt.

Reverse Bank Transfer: Here are our tips for setting and maintaining emergency savings so you are well-equipped in the unfortunate event you mistakenly transfer your savings!

Reverse Bank Transfer: Penny for a thought from

The apocalypse won’t start just because you mistakenly sent money to the wrong account, so long as you keep your nerves in check and immediately contact the bank. There is a proper code of conduct the bank follows to protect you in this type of unfortunate events. Which is why to avoid these situations, it’s best to enter important details like recipient account number and go through it again properly prior to hitting the send button.

As this is the site for rich ideas of income, savings, investments, interest calculations, choosing best bank accounts, choosing personal loan, mortgage and growing your money, so please comment how you like these tips & also include any more ideas if you have, in the comment section or on the MoneyDea Facebook page.

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