In many cases, you cannot get your money back if you made a mistake with peer-to-peer payments. But there is something simple you can do to protect yourself.
DALLAS — It’s bad enough sending an email, text, or Topline message to the wrong recipient at work. But have you ever sent money to the wrong person? Or sent the wrong amount of money to the right person?
There are many platforms where this can happen, including PayPal, Apple Pay, Venmo,zelle, and Google Pay, among others. They are known as peer-to-peer or P2P payment services.
A recent LendingTree survey estimates that 84% of us have transacted this way and that 23% of us have sent money to the wrong person with P2P payments.
They also found that 15% of us were tricked into sending someone money this way. And the percentages for accidentally sending a P2P payment to the wrong person and cheating on a P2P payment jump to 42% and 22%, respectively, for people who use P2P services several times a week.
The problem is that many people have their peer-to-peer payment accounts linked directly to actual money. Once you click send, that real money is no longer yours… even if you mistakenly sent it to the wrong person, or if you just accidentally entered $500 instead of $5.00.
Consider linking your account to a credit card instead of cash
If you still want to send money P2P (peer-to-peer) but are really worried about all the R4E (room for error) then some advise that you tie your account to a credit card instead of a debit card.
Some of the major platforms do not accept credit card as a form of payment in your account. And those who accept a credit card often charge you a transaction fee of around 3%. But with a credit card, you’re covered by Regulation E.
As Consumer Reports explains, this provision protects you from liability for payments over $50 “in the event of fraud or an error in payment.” Typically, however, you must notify the financial institution of a problem payment within two business days to qualify for this protection.
What if you sent money to the wrong person or amount?
Experts advise that you only pay people you know through peer-to-peer payment systems. If your P2P account is linked to your cash and you make a mistake, most payment services will suggest that you contact the person you sent in error and ask them to return the money to you.
Some of them will cancel a payment if the person you sent it to doesn’t request it within a certain timeframe. And in some cases, some peer-to-peer payment services ask you to contact them to sort these things out.
Here are the guidelines of some of the major platforms:
In addition, you may be able to file a formal complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.