How to retrieve money transfers online

Germany By Francesca Gerardis May 27, 2022

The gift of giving is a beautiful thing. No matter how generous we’re feeling though, we want to make sure our money is in the right place.

Mistakes sometimes happen. You may accidentally move your money somewhere you didn’t want to, send the wrong amount, or perhaps what your receiver gets doesn’t add up. That’s okay, as in some instances it’s possible to retrieve money transfers online.

Before you try to get back your online money transfer, there are a few things you need to know about correcting and retrieving money transfers.


In this article


Why would you want to retrieve money transfers online?

There are many reasons why you might want to retrieve a money transfer online after sending. The most common is inputting the wrong money transfer number.

Other reasons for wanting to get back money transfers may include:

  • Transferring the incorrect amount
  • Accidentally making an additional money transfer
  • Inputting an invalid IBAN
  • Fraud concerns

Depending on the error, there may be different processes to get money back from your online money transfer. Sometimes it may happen automatically – if you enter the number for a non-existent account, for example. There are also ways to avoid needing to retrieve money transfers online in the first place.


When do I retrieve money transfers automatically?

Money transfers using receiver details – such as IBAN or BIC – not connected to an accompanying account are usually rejected automatically. The money should be sent back to your bank balance.

In this instance, you normally get an error message notifying you, so it doesn’t require any additional steps. However, this assumes the details you used don’t exist.

If you know your IBAN you can check the connected account number and sort code attached to it. Together with your receiver, or if you are the receiver, you can ensure your details are correct by checking this if there’s any uncertainty.

Less commonly, your payments can be rejected and returned to your account automatically due to intermediary banks charging without notice.


How to retrieve money transfers online

If you make an error with a money transfer, it’s essential you act as soon as possible. This can increase the likelihood of you being able to get back funds from your online money transfer.

The sooner you respond, the easier things may be to fix, as some money transfers can take longer than others. It means you could avoid chargeback fees, wait times, and other inconveniences.

To act fast, you first need to know the correct action to take. If you encounter any of the below issues, solve them and retrieve your transfer with these steps.


Account details connected to no account

This should automatically reject the money transfer. When this is the mistake, it should be accompanied by an error message to advise you of the issue and that no payment was taken.

Wrong amount transferred

If you send too much or too little, speak to the receiver directly or contact your bank and ask if they can resolve this with them. You may be able to initiate a chargeback, but this isn’t guaranteed.


Incorrect (but otherwise valid) bank details added

It’s essential you dispute this with your bank as soon as possible, as they may be able to cancel the transfer before it’s successfully made. Take note of the money transfer details, including the account information of where you sent the funds by mistake.

Suspicious or fraudulent transfer

If you have paid for a service and haven’t received what was expected, contact your bank as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances – including what you paid for and how much – you may want to contact your local police when it’s severe.


What are the costs and timescale of retrieving an online money transfer?

When you attempt to retrieve money transfers online, but the funds have already been credited to another account, unfortunately it’s too late to stop the money transfer going through.

There are still ways to try and retrieve your money by requesting a refund. However, banks can charge fees for the service, and it is not guaranteed to work.

As a general timescale to get money back for an online transfer, you should inform the bank:

  • Within eight weeks when you gave permission for the money transfer
  • Within 13 months if you did not provide permission for the money transfer

The charges for such a service can vary between banks. Generally, it can be between as little as around €7.50 up to and exceeding €21.00 in some cases. Check with your provider before arranging to retrieve an online money transfer.


How to avoid needing to retrieve online money transfers

When it comes to accidental money transfers, a good protection method is to ensure the issue never arises in the first place. For example, double-checking and cross-referencing account details such as the IBAN, account name and number are essential.

Double check the data you input repeatedly, so you don’t just rely on memory. Likewise, ensure you don’t add another zero to your transfer amount. Even if it feels mundane and simple, double-checking goes a long way.

Fraud can be a real concern too, so ensure you know where you’re sending the money. You can check the reviews of online providers and confirm the account details match correctly for peace of mind. Don’t be afraid to query anything that looks off to you.


FAQs and guides

  • How to receive money from abroad
  • How to get an account number from IBAN
  • How long do wire transfers take?
  • How to transfer money from a credit card to an account