Digital payments have undoubtedly made shopping easier. One is able to transfer and receive money at the click of a button. However, with this ease comes a fear of making a wrong payment.
Have you ever credited money to the wrong person and wondered how to retrieve it?
According to a survey conducted on digital payments in India, in 2020, around 79 per cent of households used some form of third-party digital payment apps, like Paytm and PhonePe. Meanwhile, 52 per cent of households were using the central bank-backed Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform.
With so many people using online payment methods, what are the safeguards one has to protect themselves if they make a wrongful credit?
On 29 June 2022, a woman based in Mumbai made an erroneous online transfer of Rs 7 lakh. When she contacted her bank for help, was turned away citing the reason to be an error on her part. The woman then approached the cyber cell, who took all steps to ensure that she got her money back. On 2 July 2022, the payment was reversed.
If you find yourself in such a scenario, here are some reliefs you can avail:
Approach your bank:
· Immediately reach out to your bank to reverse the payment.
· While making this call to your bank manager or relationship manager, have all the details of the transaction handy — the amount transferred, the time of transfer, and the account details of both the beneficiary as well as the person making the payment.
· Along with making a telephonic complaint, you will be required to visit the nearest branch and submit an application detailing the incident.
· In case the wrongful beneficiary is an account holder in the same bank as yours, the process becomes easier.
· Else, your bank will contact the wrongful beneficiary’s bank and initiate a reversal.
· It is important to raise a complaint as soon as the erroneous transfer is made.
Approach the court:
What if the recipient refuses to reverse the payment?
If all goes well, the wrongful recipient should reverse the payment. However, there could be a scenario where that does not happen. In such a case, one should be ready to file a civil suit for the recovery of money under the Civil Procedure Code.
The time period for filing a suit for money recovery is three years from the date when the cause of action arises, in this case, when the money is erroneously transferred.
Approach the Ombudsman for digital transactions:
The Ombudsman for digital transactions is a senior official appointed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). There are currently 21 Ombudsman for digital transactions appointed with their offices located mostly in state capitals.
One can file a complaint with the Ombudsman by writing on a plain paper and sending it to the concerned office of the Ombudsman by post/fax/hand delivery. One can also file it by email to the Ombudsman for digital transactions.) A complaint form, along with the scheme, is also available on RBI’s website, though it is not mandatory to use this format.
There is no fee required to make this complaint.
Leading digital payment methods used among Indian households 2020 by Sandhya Keelery
(Edited by Divya Sethu)