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Wise Debit Card (formerly transferwise) - info on due diligence check time frame. *** Success FOS Complaint Upheld***


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I've been using the Wise borderless debit card to withdraw money when abroad.
 
Usually, I deposit money to the Wise borderless GBP account just prior to withdrawing in local currency and this had worked out fine. But on one occasion (on Friday 26 August 2022), the money I transferred from my Halifax Bank current account to Wise borderless GBP account was held back for due diligence checks. This I understand, is perfectly normal.
 
Wise did inform me via the App that they were 'running some checks...'. then on 29 August 2022 I received an email saying 'your transfer will be completed on 29 August 2022' (oddly, the same day as the email was sent!).
 
The transfer (money finally added to my Wise GBP account and available for withdrawal) wasn't completed until 1 September 2022. It was 5 days since I did the transfer using the Halifax Bank App (on Friday 26 August). This again is fair enough as the due diligence is something essential. However, I was concerned about the information that was relayed throughout the process, so I complained to Wise.
 
Wise didn't agree. In their final response they've said '[due diligence] checks usually take 2–10 working days, but occasionally they can take longer.'. The Wise website doesn't mention this time frame anywhere. Nor did they tell me this within the App or the info email about the transfer. 
 
Does anyone know the reason(s) Wise wouldn't show this information on their website, App or emails? Is it because normally transfers happen instantly, within 2 hours or the next business day? So, if only a really small percentage (maybe 1% or even 0.01%) of transfers are affected by the due diligence, it's not necessary to provide this time frame information to the customer?
 
I'm aware that banks and financial institutions and/or staff are legally prohibited to tell customers reason(s) for the checks. However, I think this time frame - '..2–10 working days, but occasionally they can take longer.' wouldn't qualify as prohibited. If it was, then Wise wouldn't have told me within the final response email/letter.
 
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  • 3 months later...

Finally (after 9 months) the financial ombudsman service (FOS) has issued it's decision. My complaint has been upheld. Please mark this thread as a success.

The ombudsman came to a different decision from the investigator and said the information provided by Wise 'could have been clearer during the process'. 

Wise was asked to apologise to me. Wise did take their time doing this, but finally came good. Unfortunately, even the apology is tinged with the same old 'as a regulated financial institution....', as if they are still trying to vindicate themselves for the mistake (of not being clear).

The ombudsman decision said '..carrying out its due diligence checks, are a business decision it is entitled to make. It’s not something we as a service would look to interfere with. What I must consider are the individual circumstances of this case and whether Wise treated Mr N fairly and reasonably.'.

Either the staff member at Wise haven't read the final decision from the ombudsman or still see the need to assert the same old 'as a regulated financial institution' chestnut. I had never contended the need for the checks. 

Here is the ombudsman's final decision:

Quote

 

The complaint
Mr N is unhappy with the information provided by Wise Payments Limited (Wise) when a
transfer he made into his account was delayed.
What happened
Mr N transferred funds from his bank account into his account with Wise. However, there
were delays in crediting his account with the funds. Mr N complained about the information
he was provided with by Wise while due diligence checks were undertaken on the
transaction.

Wise thought it acted fairly and in line with the customer agreement. It said verification and
due diligence checks on payments and transfers were essential. And it said it can take
between two and ten working days to process payments.
Mr N didn’t accept what Wise said and brought his complaint to our service. Our investigator
didn’t think the complaint should be upheld. He said Wise had explained the dates given
were an estimate, but unfortunately the checks needed took longer than it initially estimated.
He didn’t think Wise was in breach of the terms and conditions.
Mr N doesn’t agree with what our investigator said and maintains that his complaint is not
about the checks carried out, but the information Wise gave during the process. As
agreement couldn’t be reached, the complaint has been passed to me to decide.
I issued my provisional decision on 17 November 2023 in which I said:
“I’ve considered all the available evidence and arguments to decide what’s fair and
reasonable in the circumstances of this complaint.


Having done so, I’ve reached a different outcome to our investigator. I’ll explain why.

There is no dispute there were delays in the funds Mr N transferred from his bank account
becoming available in his Wise account. Wise explained this was because of due diligence
checks that were required on the transaction. Wise has said it can take between two and ten
days for a payment to be credited. While I accept the money did become available within
these time limits, I find the information provided to Mr N could have been clearer during the
process.

Firstly, I think its important to explain that the information Wise chooses to provide on its
website, in its online application, and the standard messages or emails it sends while
carrying out its due diligence checks, are a business decision it is entitled to make. It’s not
something we as a service would look to interfere with. What I must consider are the
individual circumstances of this case and whether Wise treated Mr N fairly and reasonably.

The online app indicated the transfer would be processed and the funds made available
firstly on 27 August, and then later an email was sent stating funds should be available on 29
August. However, the money didn’t clear into the account until three days later.
I don’t find its unreasonable for there to be a short delay while checks are completed on a
transaction. But I find sending a further email stating the funds would be available on 29
August, gave the impression Mr N’s money would be available sooner than it was.
Therefore, I’m not satisfied Wise treated Mr N fairly.

When things go wrong, what I must consider is the impact it had on the consumer. To put
things right we expect Wise to ensure the consumer is put back in the position they would
have been in. This means it must ensure Mr N hasn’t lost out financially as a result of what’s
happened. And it should address any practical or emotional impact the error has had on him.
I appreciate the email gives the impression the processing of the payment would have been
completed on a specific day, however when this didn’t happen, I’m satisfied the tracking
system via the app, indicated that there was a delay in the processing of the transaction.
Wise also let Mr N know it would email him once the transaction completed, which meant he
didn’t have to keep checking to see if it was done.

Mr N says that had he been told of the time limits for the transfer to be processed, he could
have made alternative arrangements to pay his rent. But Mr N has also made it clear there
hasn’t been any financial impact here or further consequences as a result of the information
he was given.
Mr N also explained that it would be better for the app to describe the transaction as a
transfer in, rather than stating it was a transfer out of his Wise account. While I accept his
point of view, I can’t see this will have had any impact on Mr N, other than to cause some
added annoyance.

While the information provided during the checking process could have been clearer, I’m
satisfied once the funds were made available the inconvenience and frustration would have
been alleviated. I understand it would have been somewhat frustrating not to know when the
funds would be in the account, but I’m satisfied this was short lived. Unfortunately, using
financial services won’t always be hassle free and when things have gone wrong, it doesn’t
always follow that we would award compensation for it. Under the circumstances, I’m
satisfied Wise doesn’t need to compensate Mr N, but I find it ought to have acknowledged
the impact this will have had on him and issued an apology...”

Mr N responded to my provisional decision and said he suffered some anxiousness and
upset due to the experience which he feels was preventable. He would like Wise to pay £20
compensation for this. He also said he spent a total of £0.50 on phone calls to our service
and would like to be compensated for these costs.

What I’ve decided – and why
I’ve considered all the available evidence and arguments to decide what’s fair and
reasonable in the circumstances of this complaint.
I’ve thought about what Mr N said and it doesn’t change my decision. As I said in my
provisional decision, using financial services won’t always be hassle free, and neither is the
process of making a complaint. I appreciate Mr N phoned our services, but I can’t tell Wise

to compensate him for any costs he incurred in doing so.
All things considered, I find the anxiousness Mr N faced was short lived and the
inconvenience he experienced minimal. Therefore, I won’t ask Wise to compensate him.
My final decision
For the reasons mentioned above, I uphold this complaint, and require Wise Payments
Limited to issue Mr N a letter of apology.
Under the rules of the Financial Ombudsman Service, I’m required to ask Mr N to accept or
reject my decision before 8 January 2024.

 

 

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  • dx100uk changed the title to Wise Debit Card (formerly transferwise) - info on due diligence check time frame. **WON AT FOS**

well done.

thread title updated 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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  • AndyOrch changed the title to Wise Debit Card (formerly transferwise) - info on due diligence check time frame. *** Success FOS Complaint Upheld***
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