CHOICE membership

Have you had problems with electronic transactions?


Have you had problems with an unauthorised purchase on your card and not been refunded?

ASIC are currently reviewing the ePayments Code, the code of conduct that governs electronic payments (credit cards, EFPTOS, BPAY, online payments, etc).

Consumers’ Federation Australia (CHOICE is a member) are writing a submission to the Review and are looking for people’s experiences with the code. They have asked the following questions:

  • Are you aware that the ePayment Code exists?

  • Have you had experiences of using the Code to get your back money back where an ePayment has gone wrong e.g. mistaken payment, unauthorised transaction, or scam where the consumer thought they were making a legitimate payment

  • Have you had any experiences of banks and other institutions using the Code to defend themselves where an ePayment has gone wrong?

  • Have you had any experiences of an ePayment going wrong, where the consumers thinks the bank etc should have done more to protect them?

Your experiences will be very valuable in shaping CFA’s submission.


I can say no?
However I have had the opposite problem of money by EFT into one of my accounts. Some might think this is not a problem, lucky?

The source was a betting company. I contacted my bank and nothing came of it. After more than 6 months it was several thousand dollars! I went to the bank again. Nothing more to do. Wow! I knew better?

More than a year later I found myself with a rather blunt letter asking, demanding I transfer the funds back to the bank! It was very disappointing that there was not a better way to manage this, especially when one tries to do the right thing and avoid a bigger problem. Was the bank really appreciative of my prior efforts and nice about it. Not in the slightest. In fact the banks initial approach was veiled and appeared similar to that a scammer might use.

Consider also the worry of who’s money it might really be and any implied connections?

Something is seriously wrong with the system if it cannot resolve such faults more promptly.


I have an ongoing problem with Bpay for my credit card. I suspect that it is an attempt by the credit card company to extract interest from us, as we pay the full balance, on time.

Our latest was this week, where the payment had been due on 25 March. I set up a future payment, using two different banks, splitting the balance due between them, for the 23rd. One went through on time, and one went through, according to the credit card people, a day late, thus incurring a retail interest on the outstanding balance.
When we called to query this (the same query every 2-3 months) they asked what time we transferred the funds. As if that made a difference. The time of the transfer is something I have limited to no control over. In my experience of the Australian banking system, payments are often not updated until midnight and in the event of a payment occurring on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, the money is often only seen by the recipient on a Tuesday.
However, the credit card company insists that we should pay earlier to avoid this. I think that paying on the Friday when the payment is due on the Monday is appropriate. Especially for Bpay.
What makes this more annoying, is that we do a lot of banking transactions in the New Zealand banking system, as we have financial interests there. If I transfer something there, the money is in the recipient’s account, usually within the hour and certainly within the same day, whether it is a weekend or not. Additionally, I can pay into my NZ credit card’s bank account (they don’t have Bpay) and the payment time holds true there.
I enquired of my Australian credit card supplier as to the ability to transfer directly into their account, not using Bpay and was told I could only do this as a direct debit transaction, which removes the control of payment from me. This I am not willing to do.
Our frustration level with the credit card company is coming to an end. I am busy sourcing a new option with another bank. The final crunch came when we advised our current credit card company that we are going on an overseas holiday and they told us that this would incur a 3% charge on each transaction, over and above the conversion fees. My NZ card? Nothing but the conversion fee.
And the NZ card has actually reversed an interest charge, without me asking, when I inadvertently paid a day later that I ought to have, apparently because I always pay on time, and this must have been an oversight (I called to check the reversal). And the card in NZ is supplied by one of the big 4 in Australia’s NZ branch.


There has been much discussion about Bpay time on the forum. It is established that a merchant’s agreement with Bpay must accept a payment as being on time if it is lodged by the sending bank’s cutoff time. That would mean that if your account was due on Monday and you lodged your Bpay by your bank’s cutoff time on the Monday the receiving merchant must accept it is on time even if they receive it days later.

You might put that to your card issuer for their response. If they claim their Bpay contract is different ask for a copy and see how it goes.


If the credit company is taking this stand, it may be in breach of their agreement with Bpay.

It is worth reading the thread linked in @TheBBG post and also info on the Bpay website.

I would be lodging a dispute with the credit card company for any back payment of interest. If they fail to do this, lodge a complaint with AFCA (also tell the credit card company this is what you will do if they don’t resolve adequately)…

The reason for taking action is a company can say anyrhing in relation to when they received payment so that a consumer incurs additional fees and charges. It could also be their own actions or of their own financial institution in relation to when the payment was received (when it was processed snd funds transferred)…completely outside the control of the customer. This is why Bpay is quite clear that the date of payment is the date of payment execution by the customer …and not the date the company alleges payment was received.

Good luck.


I should have also said that they would say this as it is in their interests, literally, for them to receive payments early. Early payments allow them to maximise their own returns by reducing their own borrowed money/interest liabilities (or allow them to receive interest on the cash until payment date), improving their bottom line and reducing their own business risks.


Purchase on Ebay with payPal and the usual money back guarantees- product did not work- sought return- sent a return label by Ebay as seller could not (?) - used return label and got free Australia Post back to box number of seller- never arrived at seller- item lost in mail? seeking recompense Aus Post said NO as I was not the person who paid for the postage- Ebay said NO to refund unless product returned- CATCH22!


Beware Pre-Authorisation

My bank account was recently debited by PayPal acting on merchant’s instruction without my knowledge.

I subsequently discovered that the debit was “pending” and was the result of the merchant exercising a pre-authorisation that was eventually withdrawn.

At the time, I phoned my bank but the bank’s staff did not seem able to explain how the debit had occurred and why it had occurred. I was unaware that a third-party had the right to debit my account and that my bank could accept the debit without reference to me. In addition, my online account did not note the debit as “pending”. Although the debit was not actually deducted from my account, its effect was to make my account “overdrawn” and further transactions rejected until the debit was withdrawn by the merchant.

My complaint to my bank over a month ago has not yet been resolved.