Payment made in error

The complainant made payment to an incorrect beneficiary account. He then approached his Bank to assist him with reversing the payment. 


The Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) has rules in place regarding reversal of payments. As per these rules, for a reversal request to be successful the following must be present: 


1. The full amount of the funds paid must still be available in the beneficiary account; and

2. The consent to reverse the funds/debit the account must be given by the beneficiary account holder.


If either of the above requirements are not met, the reversal request will be unsuccessful.


In this instance, both the requirements for a successful reversal request were not met and therefore the Bank was unable to reverse the funds.


The PASA rules provide that either the absence of authority to debit, or insufficient funds in the account, is a valid reason for an unsuccessful reversal request. The rules further provide that if the reversal cannot be successfully processed, the Bank will not become involved in the reversal and that the dispute must be resolved between the two account holders.


The Bank in this instance attempted to assist the customer. However, the reversal was unsuccessful. The payment was made by the complainant who acknowledged that he had entered the incorrect recipient details. There was no evidence of maladministration by the Bank and therefore, we could not hold the Bank liable for the loss. The complainant still had recourse to claim directly from the account holder. 


PRINCIPLE:  Bank customers must ensure that they insert the correct banking details when making a payment to a beneficiary account.

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