What to know about international funds transfer

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The good news is that when it comes to making an international transfer, we’re often required to provide far more than an easily mangled string of numbers.

Institutions in countries that use the International Bank Account Number system, which include most European nations, can carry out transfers with just the numerical information.

Because of the way the IBAN works, our money is far less likely to be swallowed by the wrong account and far more likely to bounce back to us, letting us know something has gone wrong somewhere.

However, most Nigerian banks will only permit international transfers to be carried out when we provide the full name and address of the recipient, even if they’re in a country that uses IBAN.

Furthermore, anti-money laundering laws in Nigeria and some other countries mean that we need to be able to provide as much details as possible about the recipient and get it all right before the payment can go ahead.

What to do if you receive money in error

It may hearten those who make payment errors to know that unintended recipients of their money aren’t entitled to go on a spending spree.

According to financial experts, if the customer uses that money, essentially he or she is committing a theft.

The law is pretty clear on the matter. According to some international banking laws, a person is guilty of an offence if: a wrongful credit has been made to an account kept by him, or he knows or believes that the credit is wrongful; and he dishonestly fails to take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to secure that the credit is cancelled.

Treating a bank error as a lottery win is obviously unlawful. As noted above, the bank is entitled to recover the money, so should our balance be healthier than we expect, it’s worth taking a good look at the “money in” column on our statements.

Anyone who receives money and can’t account for its provenance should inform their bank; if there’s the suspicion that it’s been sent in error, set the money aside until any doubt has been cleared up.

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