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.

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Cancel the Transaction Through the Recipient

Remember to 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.

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One way to quickly cancel a transaction could be to contact the recipient in the transaction to see if they can cancel it from their end. You can 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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Gather Information on the Transaction

When it is not possible to cancel a transaction through the recipient, all is not lost. You will likely need to go through the bank, so begin by gathering all relevant data on the transaction. If working with the recipient in the transaction is not an option, the process will be easier if you collect all of the data your bank is likely to request regarding the transaction before contacting the institution. For instance, you can 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.

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Gather Information on the Bank Account

While it is important to have information regarding the transaction you would like to cancel, it is equally vital to gather data regarding your bank account. Consider writing 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.

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Involve the Bank in the Transaction Cancellation

With vital information in hand, you should be well prepared to contact your bank and request to cancel the transaction. Experian suggests calling the number located on the back of your card. When prompted, you will be able to 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.

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The bank should put a stop or hold on the pending transaction to prevent the money from coming out. According to ValuePenguin, when canceling the payment involves issuing a stop payment on a check or recurring payment, you may be charged a small fee. Allow the bank time to contact the recipient in the case of a disputed charge or fraudulent transaction that has already gone through.

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