Unauthorised and mistaken transactions
Mistakes with your banking
An unauthorised transaction is one made by someone else using
your account without your knowledge or consent. A mistaken
transaction is when you pay the wrong person or company by
incorrectly typing the BSB or account number or having the wrong
information from the person you are paying.
You should always check your bank statements to make sure there
are no mistakes. The sooner you report a problem, the more likely
you will get your money back.
The ePayments Code
The ePayments Code is a code of practice that virtually all
banks, building societies, credit unions and even some payment
services have signed up to. It protects you when using electronic
payments, including when you:
- Withdraw money from an ATM
- Buy goods or services on EFTPOS or credit cards (though not when
you authorise the purchase using manual signature)
- Do telephone or internet banking
- Use your credit card over the phone or internet
- Use mobile phone payment services
You can find out more about the ePayments Code on the ASIC website.
When you will get your money
- If a forged, expired or cancelled PIN or
card was used
- If there was fraudulent conduct by employees of your account
institution or merchant
- If the transaction took place before you received your card,
PIN or code
- If a merchant incorrectly debited your account more than
- If the transaction took place after you told your account
institution that your card was lost or stolen or that someone else
may know your PIN or password
- If it's clear that you haven't contributed to the loss
- If you put in the wrong BSB or account number and you contact
your account institution within 10 days, and the money is still in
the recipient's account. Your account institution must also be
satisfied that the mistake is genuine. (It will be a slower process
if you report the problem after 10 days but you should still get
your money back if the money is still in the recipient's account.
If it is more than 7 months then you may not get your money back if
the person has spent the money you sent them and they refuse to
return the money to you.)
When you won't get your money
- You acted fraudulently
- You didn't keep your PIN or password secret
- You unreasonably delayed telling your account institution that
your card was lost or stolen or that someone else may know
your PIN or code
- You accidentally left your card in an ATM
Even in these circumstances the amount you are liable for is
subject to certain caps.
How to report a problem
When you report a mistake on your account make sure you get a
reference number to verify that you made the report.
Before you report an unauthorised or mistaken transaction you
should check if your bank, credit union, building society or
payment service provider has signed up to the ePayments Code. You
can check on this ePayments Code subscribers'
If your bank, credit union, building society or payment service
provider is a member of the code they must give you your money back
in the circumstances outlined above. If they are not a member, you
can still raise your concerns with them. You can also ask them to
become a member of the Code.
To report a mistake on your account, call your bank, credit
union, building society or payment service provider as soon as
possible and let them know. You need to do this quickly to fix
up problem and prevent any more unauthorised transactions.
Time limits on reporting
With mistaken transactions if you report the problem within 10
days of it occurring then you should get your money back if the
money is still in the recipient's account. It will be a slower
process if the transaction occurred more than 10 days ago but you
should still be able get your money back if the money is still in
the recipient's account.
If it has been more than 7 months since the incorrect
transaction then the chances of getting your money back are greatly
reduced as the person or company you paid may have spent the money
It is worth closely checking your account
statements every month for any wrong transactions.
Last updated: 31 Jan 2017