You’ve been transferring money to a family member, friend, or a company and you realize something has gone wrong. The amount was over or under, or the recipient was filled in incorrectly. With the arrival of new ways to send and receive values, such as Pix and the WhatsApp service, who to complain to and what are the consumer’s rights in each of these means of financial transactions?
The Central Bank and Febraban (Brazilian Federation of Banks) inform that each means of transferring money has its own characteristics and, therefore, the consumer must choose the one that best meets the need in each situation.
A transfer of values transaction is like a contract between two parties, in which it is assumed that the act already reflects the will of both parties. If the error generates invalidity, the document returns, the problem is solved. The problem is when the transaction is completed. The bank cannot cancel or cancel the transaction.
Renato Ferreira, partner at Ferreira Indig Alves Advogados
Fraud cases, such as WhatsApp scams, in which the fraudster impersonates an acquaintance of the victim to request money, are currently not refundable. That’s why it’s important that whenever you make a Pix, the user checks all the information.
Giselle Assis, lawyer in the payment method area, at the ASBZ Advogados law firm
Below are the differences between each of these ways to transfer money and how to proceed if something goes wrong.
Pix, TED, DOC, WhatsApp: consumer rights
TED transfers unlimited same day
TED (Available Electronic Transfer) is the financial transfer, in real time, between different banks and other institutions (financial or payment).
It can be used to transfer values between account holders of different institutions, and between institutions themselves. There is no limit on the amount of TED submissions.
The delivery time is defined by the financial institutions, respecting the maximum period determined for the end of processing at the Central Bank (17:00 on business days).
After the deadline established by the institution, TED can be scheduled for the following business day or later.
What happens if I give wrong data at TED?
The institution where you have an account and the beneficiary’s institution are responsible for validating the data provided by you when issuing the TED.
If any of these entities finds that the data provided is incorrect, they do not validate the TED and the value is returned to the originating account. If the TED is returned due to customer error, a fee may be charged.
When can money be returned at a wrong TED?
The money must be returned to your account within 60 minutes of the interbank settlement, provided the transaction was carried out within the operating hours of the funds transfer settlement system.
However, the institution to which the appeal was sent may extend this period for as long as necessary to investigate evidence of irregularity.
Bank can refuse to do TED?
In the case of customers, if the contract includes the performance of TED, the bank/institution cannot refuse to provide this service. In the case of clients whose contracts do not provide for the TED and in the case of non-clients, the bank may refuse to provide this service except in some specific cases, such as the transfer of funds from a salary account to a deposit account, in which case the institution cannot charge a fee.
DOC has transfer limit
The DOC (Credit Document) is different from the TED because the credit to the beneficiary’s account occurs on the business day following the issue date.
But beware: the balance of the sender may decrease on the same date of issuance, at the discretion of the receiving financial institution. It is each institution that establishes a time limit for issuing DOC. The DOC has a limit: up to R$ 4,999.99.
DOC with incorrect information
In the case of a DOC with wrong information, the decision to credit the beneficiary’s account or return the amount to the customer is at the discretion of the institution receiving the amount.
If the person fills in wrong or incomplete data, he or she loses the right to claim responsibility for the delay or non-performance of the DOC from the recipient institution.
Furthermore, in the event that a DOC is returned due to customer error, there may still be a fee charged by the bank from which the amount was sent.
What happens if the DOC is returned?
The bank that made the transfer must make the money available to the sender on the same day as the return. The customer must be informed immediately.
Who can you complain to if you notice an error after the operation has been completed?
The first thing the customer must do is to contact the financial institution with which they have an account to report the problem.
But, if the entire transfer has been completed, the cancellation will depend on the bank or account holder receiving the amount.
If the customer identifies that the transaction error was not his – for some reason, the problem was caused by one of the financial institutions -, he can appeal to the Central Bank, on the BC complaints page
Pix transfers in real time
Pix is a payment method just like TED and DOC. The difference is that Pix allows any type of transfer and payment to be made on any day, including weekends and holidays, and at any time. Furthermore, this transaction is done in real time: in less than 10 seconds, it is completed.
If I make Pix with wrong value, is it possible to cancel?
The person can change the amount to be paid or cancel the transaction just before confirmation of payment. After confirmation, as the settlement of Pix takes place in real time, the transaction cannot be cancelled.
The only way to reverse the deal is if the recipient agrees to return the amount paid. Returning is a feature available on Pix and is always initiated by the recipient. The return of the transaction can be made in part or in full.
Can wrongly filled data crash transfer?
If, when trying to make a Pix, an error occurs, the person is alerted about the reason why the transaction cannot be carried out. After the situation that caused the error is normalized, you can try again.
How to check if the data is really correct on Pix?
When including the Pix key, account data, or using the QR Code (by reading or using the “Pix Copy & Paste” option), the financial institution’s application indicates, on the transaction confirmation screen, the recipient’s information.
Just check if the data matches that of the person or company to whom you want to transfer the resource or make the payment. If the data is not correct, correct the recipient’s information.
In case of fraud, can Pix be reversed?
According to the Central Bank, it will be up to the bank whose account was withdrawn to analyze the fraud and the possible compensation, as is the case today in bank scams.
As of November 16, the Special Return Mechanism will come into effect, which standardizes the rules and procedures for returning amounts in cases of fraud in the recipient’s account.
With this mechanism, the BC defines how it will be done and the deadlines for institutions to block the resources, assess the suspected case of fraud and carry out the effective return, making the process more efficient and faster, which increases the possibility of the user get the money back.
While the special devolution mechanism does not come into force, the institutions involved use bilateral operational procedures to handle cases.
The responsibility for evaluating fraud situations rests with the financial institutions involved in the transaction. The Central Bank says that it only creates the rules and operational procedures that allow standardized communication between the two institutions and can punish institutions that incur in improper use of the mechanism.
Who is responsible for transactions via WhatsApp?
According to the Central Bank, the responsibility for payments made through WhatsApp services is the responsibility of the parent company of WhatsApp, Facebook. As an authorized payment institution, when acting as a payment initiator, WhatsApp must have an ombudsman.
WhatsApp claims that it is not a registered financial entity and does not receive, transfer or store funds during transaction processing. The company says it’s not a digital wallet. All payments between individuals are processed by the payment provider Cielo.
The specialist in consumer rights, Renato Ferreira, a partner at Ferreira Indig Alves Advogados, says however that the Consumer Defense Code places the entire chain of suppliers as solidary in action.
The person who is injured by a transaction within the WhatsApp platform can then, according to him, process any of the participants in the transaction – the bank, the card brand, WhatsApp and Cielo.
What to do if you think you’ve fallen into a scam or fraud?
Victim of scam or fraud must first file an incident with the police, who are responsible for investigating crimes. The Public Prosecutor’s Office can initiate possible criminal actions. The Central Bank says it has no competence to resolve these cases.
The person must also file a complaint at the bank where the scammer has an account, informing the details of the account that received the money: branch number, account number and name of the beneficiary.
This data appears on the transaction slip. If the transfer was made via Pix, the key must also be informed. With this data, the bank can prevent further scams.
Once the infraction notice is opened, both institutions have a period to analyze the case and, if fraud is configured, the money will be refunded.
The user receiving the original transaction will be notified both when blocking the resources and when returning it.
What to do to recover the money?
According to consumer rights specialist Renato Ferreira, if the recipient of an undue amount refuses to return money sent by mistake via TED, DOC, Pix or WhatsApp, it is necessary to go to court.
In this case, the person can appeal to the Special Civil Court (formerly Small Claims Court), for cases involving up to 20 minimum wages.
In this type of action, the person does not need a lawyer. For values above 40 minimum wages, the path is common justice in an action that needs a lawyer.
Another option for consumers is the Consumidor.gov.br conflict resolution platform, a public service created by Senacon (National Consumer Secretariat) and consumer protection agencies, which allows direct dialogue between consumers and companies, for a solution of consumer conflicts over the internet.
The platform counts on the adhesion of more than 160 financial institutions, including banks, finance companies and credit card administrators.
How to seek justice in case of fraud?
In the case of fraud, the consumer can file suit in court against the bank, especially when the problem happened because there was a data leak from that customer.