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As payments by electronic transfer become more common, we are starting to see more disputes about who is legally responsible when an electronic transfer goes wrong.

Checking that you enter the correct payment data (BSB, account, amount and date) is an important step. Getting a receipt and checking it is another simple step which helps protect you.

If you happen to make a mistake, most banks have a process which allows you to correct a mistaken transaction.  The process works better the quicker the mistaken payment is identified.  If you want to know more, go to:

As well as avoiding your own mistakes, you need to be satisfied that any person asking for payment to be made to a BSB account has proper authorisation. 

One of our clients recently received an email asking for payment of an invoice to be made to a new BSB account.  The email appeared legitimate.  Our client made the payment as requested, but the intended recipient is saying they have not been paid.  Understandably, our client does not want to make payment twice.

Assuming the email was a fraud, who is the victim of the fraud?  The intended recipient, or the person making the payment?  The legal issues are complicated. There is no simple answer but the practical advice is to cross-check any request to make an electronic payment to a new BSB account.

This advice is kindly brought to MLSA members by Gold Sponsor FBR Law.

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