The Dangers of P2P Payments

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15 February 2019
Zilvinas Bareisis

Have you ever sent someone money via one of many available P2P services? Perhaps you used Zelle, which is offered by your bank? Or maybe you preferred to do it via Venmo, Square’s Cash App or Apple Cash? Either way, chances are that you were impressed with the service – the payment was easy to arrange, and the recipient was grateful for getting the money quickly.

However, you may also have experienced that sinking feeling when you pressed “send” and realised that you entered the wrong email or phone number for the recipient. Or maybe you bought something off someone online, for example, concert tickets, they gave you all the details, including the name and bank account number, you sent the money, but those tickets never arrived. Or even worse, perhaps somebody sent you a payment request, which seemed legitimate, and you clicked on a link to transfer the money, only to realise that you got scammed. If you faced any of these situations, you probably soon found out that there was little that the service providers could do – push payments are irrevocable, and you approved the payment. You can try and contact the recipient and ask them to return the money, but that only works with genuine mistakes and a willing counterparty.

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EMEA, North America