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Going around in circles

Elise had been planning a trip to France to visit her family. Elise wanted to convert $10,000 New Zealand dollars (NZD) to Euros and transfer the funds to her French bank account. Elise set up an account with the payment service provider to transfer her funds. 

In June 2023, Elise attempted to transfer her funds to her French bank account. However, a week later, Elise’s funds had not arrived. Elise contacted the payment service provider to find out where her money was. The payment service provider told Elise that her transfer had been processed successfully. The payment service provider sent Elise a copy of her transfer receipt so that Elise could check the transfer details.

Another week passed. Elise still could not find her funds. Elise called the payment service provider. The payment service provider told Elise that her funds had been sent to a New Zealand bank account. While Elise was on the phone to the payment service provider, she discovered that her funds had been returned to her New Zealand bank account. However, there was $300 missing. Only $9,700 of Elise’s $10,000 had been returned.

The payment service provider said Elise’s missing $300 was likely due to her funds being converted to Euros and then being converted back to NZD, as well as unexpected bank fees the transfer would have incurred.  

Elise was sure that she had entered her French bank account details as the transfer receiver. However, the transfer receipt showed that Elise had entered her New Zealand bank account details as the receiver account. The payment service provider told Elise that they would not refund the $300.


Elise complained to FSCL.

Dispute

Elise was unhappy that she had lost $300 as a result of her funds being converted to Euros and returned to her New Zealand bank account in NZD. Elise said that it would not make sense for her to convert $10,000 NZD to Euros and return it to the sending bank account. Elise felt that the payment service provider should have noticed the sending and receiving accounts were the same and stopped the transfer.

Elise said that she had only agreed to pay $50 of transaction fees. She wanted the payment service provider to refund the money she lost. 

The payment service provider said that they processed the transfer correctly based on the details Elise provided.

Review

We explained to Elise that it was not fair and reasonable to hold the payment service provider responsible for her loss. It was unfortunate that Elise’s transfer resulted in higher than expected fees, but these were outside of the payment service provider’s control.

Ultimately, Elise’s mistake when entering her bank account details caused her loss. In our view, Elise should have taken more care to ensure that the transfer details were accurate before she confirmed that she wanted to proceed.   

Resolution

We suggested that Elise discontinue her complaint. Elise did not accept our suggestion and asked us to reconsider. We reviewed Elise’s complaint and issue a final decision confirming our view that Elise should discontinue her complaint.

Insights for consumers

When transferring money between accounts, or paying a third party, it is essential to check the bank account details you entered before confirming the transfer.