How to Cancel a Bank Transaction

You may have to speak with a bank manager to order a stop-payment on a large transaction.

Advances in technology make bank transactions easier and more reliable than ever for both buyers and sellers, but there are still times when a buyer needs to cancel a bank transaction. Human error, computer errors and fraud can all lead to a situation where a bank accountholder needs to cancel a pending transaction before the funds disappear from the account, or to reverse a fraudulent transaction after the fact. Knowing the steps involved in canceling a transaction can help you to act before it's too late.


Step 1

Contact the recipient in the transaction to see if they can cancel it from their end. Check to see whether the seller has processed the credit- or debit-card transaction, cashed the check, redeemed the money order or whatever the case may be. In some cases, you can solve the problem right here without involving the bank. If you accidentally wrote $50 on the tip line of a credit-card receipt instead the total line, for example, the seller may be able to print you a new receipt before putting the transactions through.


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Step 2

Gather all relevant data on the transaction. If working with the recipient in the transaction is not an option, collect all of the data your bank is likely to request regarding the transaction before contacting the institution. Write down the date and time of the transaction, the amount, the legal name of the recipient, the check number if you wrote a check and any transaction numbers or confirmation codes printed on receipts.


Step 3

Gather data about your bank account. Write down vital information such as your bank account number, debit card number, your Social Security number, account PIN and any other information the bank is likely to request to verify your identity. Like the previous step, this will help to streamline the cancellation process and help the bank to act more quickly.


Step 4

Contact your bank and request to cancel the transaction. Provide a bank representative with all of the information you gathered regarding the transaction, and be ready to furnish any identifying information about your account that the representative requests. The bank should put a stop or hold on the pending transaction to prevent the money from coming out. Allow the bank time to contact the recipient in the case of a disputed charge or fraudulent transaction that has already gone through.


Always act with honesty and integrity when canceling a bank transaction. If you cancel a transaction for products or services that the recipient believes you have received, it is your responsibility to work with the seller to handle the dispute.