26 September 2015 – Unauthorised Transactions

Faith Cheok chose to speak about unauthorised transactions on this month’s radio show, which aired on 26 September 2015. Unauthorised transactions occur where a person’s credit or debit card is used to make a payment without their knowledge or consent. Such transactions have become a lot more common with the rise of services like PayPass and payWave, which do not require a signature or PIN to make transactions of up to $100.

Faith explained that victims of unauthorised transactions will generally be liable where:

  1. Their credit card was misused, lost or stolen;
  2. They had knowledge that the card was misused, lost or stolen; and
  3. They took an unreasonably long period of time to inform the card issuer of the misuse, loss or theft.

Nevertheless, to minimise the risk of being exposed to unauthorised transactions, Faith recommended that cardholders:

  1. Keep up-to-date with their account statements to ensure no unauthorised transactions have been made; and
  2. Inform their card issuer immediately if:
    1. An unauthorised transaction is discovered; or
    2. Their card has been misused, lost or stolen.

If you believe that an unauthorised transaction has been made with your card, you should contact your card issuer as soon as possible. Subsequently, if you are unhappy with the way that your card issuer handles the issue, you may wish to contact their external dispute resolution scheme (either the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Credit and Investments Ombudsman) to lodge a complaint. Alternatively, you can call our advice line on (08) 9221 7066.


Michael Duncan