I heard on the ABC NewsRadio (16 May) that Banks announced a ‘crackdown’ on scams that cost Bank customers millions each year – (really? How?) … But does it help the situation if Banks do not ensure that money transfers are at least, being made to correctly named BSB and Account holder Names? Am I right in saying that this is somewhat hypocritical, given the following? …
I have seen a paragraph on more than one Bank’s Electronic Transfer Forms and online banking screens, giving a warning : (the wording varies, but this is my bank’s version from the online banking screen, before one finalizes the transfer :
"It is your responsibility to ensure that the account details you provide are correct. If you enter or select an incorrect BSB or account number, your payment may be unsuccessful or funds may be sent to the wrong account and it may not be possible to recover the funds from an unintended recipient. (This Bank) does not match, verify or check the account names and numbers and relies solely on the account number details to process payments.
It goes on to say that any mismatch means the Payee may not be able to retrieve their funds. (they may as well just declare …“we don’t provide assistance to you in this way”).
Needless to say, there is NO BENEFIT to the Payee in making a mistake: so any mistake will be just that – a mistake.
One of the widely assumed purposes of using a Bank, among other things, would be to facilitate the transfer of funds efficiently and safely – is it expecting too much to assume that Banks HELP (ie do what they can) to detect any errors in the process?
In general, most organisations’ boring, tight security and “ID” procedures often slow our day down somewhat – appearing long-winded and going way beyond what is reasonable. For Banks to more or less say, ‘BEWARE - WE DON’T CHECK YOUR ACCURACY’ seems ‘a bit much’. It doesn’t serve anyone’s interests except their own.
Spelling is paramount, but if we so much as add or forget to add a middle initial in our Passports, things will stall unpleasantly.
Would it be too much to ask that Banks write into their Computer processing software , that any mismatch be flagged for closer scrutiny? [God forbid, this means they must have a real person examine cases thrown up as mismatches]. Yes, there will be many, but should this not be part of Banks’ service to customers, whether they like it or not? I’m sure they could devise a way of charging a fee for sorting it out. That would be fair enough and without any great cost, someone learns from the error.
If this is not acceptable, then have the system reject it and “return-to-sender” until the customer gets it right (like errors with Usernames & Passwords).
To me, insisting that the full responsibility rest with customers ‘not to make mistakes’ is nothing more than cost-cutting, when Banks should be offering to do more, not less, to ensure a legitimate, smooth Funds Transfer process – at their cost, rather than ours.
When I questioned this ‘disclaimer’ paragraph in person, declaring that it seemed to be a strange, “lazy” and counter-intuitive statement from the Banks, I was given the explanation by one Branch Manager, that 'it is for your safety’ … For this to make any sense at all, we would have to conclude that the real meaning is more like …
‘the Bank will take (this rather serious) short-cut in transferring your Funds, so please don’t make a mistake, because we won’t detect it –meaning you’ve probably done your money’.
It seems highly improbable to me that Banks would be allowed to get away with such nonsense if this issue were better highlighted for customers’ or indeed Government, scrutiny.
Unashamedly more concerned with the Interest rates they CHARGE rather than pay out, it is widely known that Banks are not quick to raise Deposit Interest Rates when official interest rates rise. The Government has called them out more than once on this issue, only weeks ago summoning the Banks to account for this, in Canberra.
Customers like you and me provide a major source of the funds Banks use to make their obscene profits. If Banks refuse to even match a Name with an Account Number & BSB for those of us making a transfer of money, it is a sure sign that, like many commercial organisations in this computer-reliant age, they’re always looking for ways of doing less and less for us, that contribute any amount to their costs.