Preferred method had potential for late payment

Categories:
Processing payments
Summary:
Ravi cleared his credit card each month on the due date by the "bill payment" method. Under this method, the transaction wasn't processed straightaway and the bank didn't receive the money until the next business day. Since this was after the due date, the bank charged a late payment fee and interest.

The bank told him its system automatically detected and reimbursed any late payment fees (although not the interest, which was reimbursed after Ravi pointed this out to the bank). The bank suggested alternative ways of paying, including paying before the due date, paying by automatic payment, or paying at a branch or ATM.

Ravi said the bank’s terms and conditions were misleading because they indicated the bank would backdate a payment if there any delay in crediting it to an account. He wanted the bank to change its system. The bank said this was not possible, and Ravi complained to us.

Our investigation

We considered the term “delay” was intended to cover situations other than normal processing times, so the bank’s terms and conditions were not misleading. However, we considered the bank could make it clearer that the bill payment method could potentially result in late payments.

Outcome

We did not uphold Ravi's complaint, and the bank agreed to update its terms and conditions to make clearer the potential for late payments.

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