Know your rights
If you’ve made a payment in error, you should contact your bank immediately. If the payment has been made to an invalid account, it will usually ‘bounce’ back into your account.
It can be more difficult to retrieve a mistaken payment if it has gone into a valid account. As a general rule, banks can only reverse mistaken payments with that account-holder’s consent. If you report a mistaken payment, your bank and the recipient’s bank must try and recover the payment, by asking the account-holder for consent to reverse the payment.
If they refuse, you will need to resolve the issue directly with them. You might have to take the matter to court, although privacy issues may prevent you getting the recipient’s contact details.
Receiving a payment in error
If you receive an unexpected payment into your account, let your bank know as soon as possible. If your bank asks for your consent to reverse a payment received in error, you should consent.
If you have already spent the money, you will need to repay it unless all three of these conditions are met:
- when you received the payment, you reasonably believed the money was owed to you in good faith
- you used that money and you didn’t act fraudulently or recklessly with very little care
- it would be unfair for you to have to repay the money given your particular situation and the circumstances of payment.
See the Banking Ombudsman’s quick guide to Mistaken payments(external link) for more information.
Contactless cards debited without your consent
Contactless cards make sales quick and easy. The downside is that they may increase the risk of unauthorised transactions being made without your knowledge or consent. You are responsible for taking reasonable steps to safeguard your card, PIN and/or password. If you don’t, you may be liable for some or all transactions that you did not authorise.
Contact your bank immediately if you lose your card or it is stolen, or you notice any unauthorised transactions on your bank statements.
You can complain to the Banking Ombudsman if you are unhappy with any decision about contactless cards and unauthorised transactions.
Read the Banking Ombudsman’s quick guide to Contactless cards(external link) for more information.