Personal Finance

HSBC - Unauthorised debit from checking account through Interac

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 8th, 2019 2:36 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 8, 2019
71 posts
34 upvotes

HSBC - Unauthorised debit from checking account through Interac

I am a new immigrant to Canada and opened a bank account with HSBC Canada last month. I had temporarily rented a place for 17 days and paid CAD 400 to the landlord through Interac (added her email id, name and mobile number on the HSBC interac payment page) at the start of the month. The landlord asked for the security answer to the specific payment and I gave it to her and it was processed. 2 days ago I vacated the place and moved. Yesterday, I got an email that payment to the landlord has been approved. I thought it might be the old payment notification and ignored it since I am sure I had not setup a recurring payment or authorized anything as such. Today, my bank account was debited again with the same amount (CAD 400).

I went to the branch and they asked me if I had a mortgage or any preauthorization. I declined and asked them who has the payment been done to, since the transaction description on the account statement had no name, just a reference id. The branch said it was a payment processed by the backoffice and they cant help and asked me to call backoffice. I called the HSBC phonebanking team from the branch and they were also unable to confirm who the payment went to. Initially, they said it looks like internal HSBC charges or transfer. No other details. On probing further and telling them that I received an email yesterday from Interac saying that payment has been accepted, they said it cannot be Interac payment as the transaction description is something else. So I tell them to explain the email from Interac. The phonebanking representative asks me to get the banking representative on the call. I get him and they talk for like 5 mins, during which I hear the banking rep telling the phonebanking rep that the transaction has not been processed at the branch and they argue about some fraudulent activity. Basically, no one had a clue about who the payment went to, or even the type of transaction. After a discussion of about 50 mins, the phonebanking rep confirm that the payment has been made to my ex-landlord. How? No answer. They ask me get in touch with my ex-landlord. While I am on good talking terms with her, I see this as an issue with HSBC, not my ex-landlord. How did HSBC authorise the payment without me having initiated it? They lodged a complaint to investigate.

On opening my HSBC page for Interac payments, there is not even an option for setting up a recurring payment. Does anyone know how interac functions?
14 replies
Penalty Box
Dec 16, 2017
2538 posts
1030 upvotes
CND Brain & Hear…
too bad when you handed your acct to HSBC

I know there's an Interact thing called Request Money. I don't know if that function bypasses the security word.
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Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
2170 posts
2082 upvotes
Vancouver
This is the Interac Request Money function that @dekvitaly referred to: https://www.interac.ca/en/interac-e-tra ... money.html

That's one possibility. You would have had to approve it, but maybe you didn't realize what you were doing. Or does somebody else have access to your email account who might have approved it on your behalf?

I pity you having to deal with this type of problem, especially with HSBC since they are probably the most bureaucratic bank operating in Canada. Telephone agents are usually clueless, and it can take months and multiple inquiries to get unsatisfactory answers from internal groups who don't want to talk to you directly. Usually it seems like they are just dragging their feet and hoping you will give up and go away.

You best bet is to resolve it with the landlord. Find out if they did something and why. My experience has been that if you have a disputed $400 issue that has to be resolved internally by a bank like HSBC, you will end up being happy to forget the $400 and get your time back.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 8, 2019
71 posts
34 upvotes
Scote64 wrote: This is the Interac Request Money function that @dekvitaly referred to: https://www.interac.ca/en/interac-e-tra ... money.html

That's one possibility. You would have had to approve it, but maybe you didn't realize what you were doing. Or does somebody else have access to your email account who might have approved it on your behalf?

I pity you having to deal with this type of problem, especially with HSBC since they are probably the most bureaucratic bank operating in Canada. Telephone agents are usually clueless, and it can take months and multiple inquiries to get unsatisfactory answers from internal groups who don't want to talk to you directly. Usually it seems like they are just dragging their feet and hoping you will give up and go away.

You best bet is to resolve it with the landlord. Find out if they did something and why. My experience has been that if you have a disputed $400 issue that has to be resolved internally by a bank like HSBC, you will end up being happy to forget the $400 and get your time back.
I will call the landlord tomorrow and ask her to transfer back. If HSBC doesn't explain how this happened, am planning to write an email to OSFI, marking HSBC on it. Hopefully, that will get their attention.
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Mar 28, 2005
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In addition to what is being suggested, I think it would be prudent to immediately close that account with HSBC.

Open an account with a different bank or if that is not convenient, at least change the account at HSBC.
Sr. Member
Sep 6, 2016
756 posts
283 upvotes
Scote64 wrote:
You best bet is to resolve it with the landlord. Find out if they did something and why. My experience has been that if you have a disputed $400 issue that has to be resolved internally by a bank like HSBC, you will end up being happy to forget the $400 and get your time back.
I see there is very reach people.

Nope. $400 is big amount and their is way to fight for them
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Sep 6, 2016
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WHY HSBC? not RBC?
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Mar 28, 2005
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MasterPro wrote: WHY HSBC? not RBC?
I have never dealt with SBC, but I dealt with RBC in Montreal-NDG.

What a disaster that was.
Always long line ups
Incompetent staff with very high staff turnover
Even simple things like depositing a check could take 20 - 30 minutes.
I finally gave up and moved my accounts.

Probably a specific issue with that branch, but I haven't been to RBC since.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 8, 2019
71 posts
34 upvotes
MasterPro wrote: WHY HSBC? not RBC?
Am a new immigrant to Canada. They were offering 500 CAD as cashback for opening account.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 8, 2019
71 posts
34 upvotes
MasterPro wrote: I see there is very reach people.

Nope. $400 is big amount and their is way to fight for them
HSBC investigated the issue and told me that I had placed the request twice. When I enquired why doesn't the second transaction mention 'Interac' or 'receipient's name' like in the first transaction, they told me that the request was manually processed. No other explanation.

Anyways, I got in touch with my ex-landlord, and she gave me cash of 400 CAD. She is fed up of online transfer issues.
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Mar 28, 2005
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I hope you at least closed that account and opened a new one.
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Mar 25, 2012
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darkhorz1 wrote: I will call the landlord tomorrow and ask her to transfer back. If HSBC doesn't explain how this happened, am planning to write an email to OSFI, marking HSBC on it. Hopefully, that will get their attention.
Don't go to OSFI - they tend not to deal with end customers. Your best bet would be to raise an issue of problematic Interac Request Money transfers whereby there's seemingly no recourse mechanism like there is with pre-authorized debits (can be returned up to 90 days after the transaction's posting date, subject to few limitations). Thus, I would raise the issue with HSBC's Commissioner of Complaints (what they call their Ombudsman) then go, in tandem, to OBSI and FCAC.

Cheers,
Doug
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Mar 28, 2005
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I think you're wasting your time pursuing this further.

HSBC already investigated this and provided you with the results of their investigation:
HSBC investigated the issue and told me that I had placed the request twice. When I enquired why doesn't the second transaction mention 'Interac' or 'receipient's name' like in the first transaction, they told me that the request was manually processed. No other explanation.
I don't think you will get any more than that.

"Manually processed" to me means someone at the bank for some reason maybe thougt the original payment didn't go through or incorrectly thought a repeat payment was authorized.
It doesn't sound from your description that Interac was even involved with the second payment - certainly not the automated system.
You got your $400.- back, so the incentive for HSBC to assign more manpower to investigate this is pretty much nil.
Sr. Member
Sep 6, 2016
756 posts
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AnotherDesiredUsername wrote: Avoid RBC at all cost. Dealt with them long enough to know that it's a garbage bank.
Aha ha Ha

with Scotiabank who smell the cheques and for evrything you have to go to the branch
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