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Faster payments - be careful!

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Faster payments - be careful!

It seems when you make use of the Faster Payment system you have to be extra careful as the banks don't fully check that the recipient is who you intend...
I paid my elderly mother £100 a month only to find £2,600 had gone into the wrong account. Now my ba...
Quote
A helpful couple had a rude awakening after they set up a £100 a month payment to the wife's elderly mother only to discover more than two years later that they had paid £2,600 into a stranger's account - and that their bank could not get the cash back.
They set up an online payment through their bank NatWest in April 2010, but as the elderly mother was not confident with handling her finances, it did not come to light until July of this year that the money had been going into a different account.
Yet when it was revealed that they had paid £2,600 into the wrong place NatWest claimed the couple must have put in account details wrongly and explained that as the money went via the Faster Payments system the names on the accounts do not get checked.

Despite the headline it seems the couple sending the payment were most likely at fault and may not be able to get their money back.
I frequently send payments to my daughter (bank of father and all that) but I always check with her that she receives them. Also have SOs to my mother and, again, always check that she has received monies.

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Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
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13 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: Faster payments - be careful!

I use the Faster Payment system with online banking and never had a problem.  When a payment is made a message appears informing me the payment may not be seen in the recipient's bank account for up to 2 hours.
In this case I don't think the bank should be blamed.  Surely if the recipient was desperately in need of the money someone would have checked to have seen it had arrived safely.  Either the account number or sort code must have been wrong.
Community Veteran
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Re: Faster payments - be careful!

Faster payments are just a quicker way of making payments than the old BACS (standing orders and bill payments). It doesn't matter whether you give the details to a rep by phone, supply a written mandate or set them up online. If the sortcode and account number quoted are valid then a payment will be made irrespective of the fact the owner of the account is not who you thought it was.
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Re: Faster payments - be careful!

Yeah I get paranoid about making an account or sort code error too.
When I booked a holiday on my card around 6 years back, a friend of mine owed me around £1000.
He made sure he did a test payment of £10 first and once I told him I had received it, he did the other £990.
Community Veteran
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Re: Faster payments - be careful!

Extravagant - I send a £1 payment first  Grin
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Re: Faster payments - be careful!

I get confused transferring money between Banks (accept 8 digit account numbers) and Building Societies (expect 10 digit account numbers), often get the wrong 8 digits and find the faster payment is placed in a holding account until I ring up.
gswindale
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Re: Faster payments - be careful!

I seem to recall that the 2 extra digits for Building Society accounts are identical to the last 2 digits of the sort-code, and are often the first 2 digits of the account number; so a payment to a/c 12345678 and sort code 10-20-30 would correspond to a 10 digit account 3012345678.
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Re: Faster payments - be careful!

Quote from: geofftswin
I seem to recall that the 2 extra digits for Building Society accounts are identical to the last 2 digits of the sort-code

Not quite Undecided  last two digits of account are the same as 4th and 5th of sort code........ coincidental perhaps
Community Veteran
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Re: Faster payments - be careful!

@journeys, it's a coincidence.  I have just checked two of my building society accounts and the sort code is not featured in the account number.
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Re: Faster payments - be careful!

@artmo:- thank you
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Re: Faster payments - be careful!

Slightly OT but why wouldn't anyone check their payments for over 2 years? Stupid careless mistake!
A costly mistake: Hairdresser loses £26,000 by paying her wages into the wrong account each month - ...

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Community Veteran
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Re: Faster payments - be careful!

I thought the same thing. Possibly didn't need the money Roll eyes
In the OP a similar time period elapsed before the mistake was found - and the recipient apparently needed the money badly.
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Re: Faster payments - be careful!

Quote from: Alex
Yeah I get paranoid about making an account or sort code error too. He made sure he did a test payment of £10 first.

That's exactly what I did with those chisellers at santander and they blocked my account. They said that this was one of the signs of a possible fraud.
Nothing to do with my email complaining about their miserable interest rates and lack of customer notification when the rates on an account take a dive.
It took damned ages on the phone answering "security" questions. And again when I was cut off.
At least with faster payment it only took seconds to remove MY money when things were finally cleared up.

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Re: Faster payments - be careful!

Well that was a result of sorts. Complained via email and received a text message that the complaint was being looked into.
Today had another text message that the complaint had been resolved so I logged in and found that £32.13 had been credited to my account.
Seems a strange sum of money, with no explanation via text or online.