What to expect when you’ve accidentally sent a payment to the wrong account

When sending money, whether it’s by faster payment or standing order, it’s vital to double check you’ve got all the right numbers.  If the numbers you use aren’t accurate, it’s exactly like getting one digit of a phone number wrong:  Either the number won’t work or you’ll end up getting the wrong person.

What happens if I’ve got the account number or sort code wrong?

It depends on the numbers you’ve got wrong.  If the sort code is wrong and it is a code that doesn’t actually exist, the money will just return to your account.  If the sort code does exist, it will then get sent to the bank the code belongs to.

If that account number also exists for that sort code, then the money may well go into that person’s account.  If the account number does not exist for that sort code, it will stay with that bank.

Can you ‘call back’ a payment?

Once you have submitted a faster payment, that cannot be cancelled we’re afraid. This is why it’s so important to get the numbers right.  Likewise, with a standing order – you can cancel a standing order planned for the future but not one that has already taken place.

If you’re an Arro Money customer, we cannot refund you that money either, as it has left your account and we have no way to get it back.

Can I get my money back if it’s gone into the wrong account?

It depends on the receiving bank and individual but that isn’t guaranteed, and no matter what it is by no means a straightforward process because so many parties and processes are in place.  You should contact your bank account holder or emoney issuer as soon as possible, but not expect them to be able to press a button and get your money back.

How to prevent mistakes with faster payments

Check, check and double check you have got the numbers right for the sort code and account number.  It takes less than a minute to check the numbers, but weeks (if at all) to get the money back.

Check the amount is correct.  It can be easy to add one too many or few zeros – it’s just as hard to recall a partial amount as a whole amount.

Make sure you include any reference required if you’re paying a bill.  If you’re paying a store card for example, you will be told a reference number to use when sending payment.  Without this, they won’t know which card/account the payment is for and it may not get paid.  (Remember there might be more than one account with your name!)