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Duplicate bill payments error
November 25, 2020
12:25 pm
Peter
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I had trouble paying a bill from Motive Financial on Sunday and Monday. The interface was giving me an error "Insufficient funds" even though there were sufficient funds (and this was not a problem with a hold period). Motive Financial support acknowledged that this was a known bug. I was finally able to pay the bill on Tuesday.

However, today I noticed that one of the attempted bill payments on Sunday actually went through, even though it didn't show up at all until now. Motive Financial support acknowledged this reporting problem: "There was a system error that caused bill payments to be remitted to vendors but not posted to client accounts." This caused my chequing account to temporarily go into a negative balance, which I immediately fixed by transferring a duplicate amount from savings.

Motive Financial says I can request a bill payment recall, and that they'll make sure any erroneous interest charges are reversed.

If you ran into this "Insufficient funds" error over the past couple of days (November 23-24, 2020), you should probably double check your account to make sure a duplicated payment wasn't made. They did not proactively contact me. I had to reach out to them when I noticed the mistake in the online interface.

November 26, 2020
7:18 am
Peter
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This morning I discovered a second duplicate payment from Monday has shown up that didn't exist yesterday. So this is turning into quite a hassle.

November 26, 2020
7:33 am
bpwest
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Thanks for the info, Peter. Hassle is one word to describe this issue... there may be others...I was considering bill payments via Motive, and will now reconsider.

November 26, 2020
7:40 am
Peter
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To be fair, I've had an account with them back for almost 10 years, back to the Canadian Direct Financial days, and this is the first bill payment problem I've had.

November 26, 2020
9:48 am
Peter
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Another update: I just called in to get this latest issue sorted, and it looks like they automatically sorted it within the past hour (reversing the additional bill payments from my chequing account that were their mistake). Again, they didn't proactively tell me about this, but it appears to have been resolved, at least from what I can see in my Motive Financial account. Hopefully by next week I see the additional payments reversed on the vendor side.

December 7, 2020
4:01 pm
Peter
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I can't say this ended well. I originally posted this just in case other people stumbled upon the same problem with duplicate bill payments in their account, and I don't want to misrepresent what has been a smooth banking relationship (self-serve, mostly) for many years. But Motive Financial customer service, upon failing to obtain the funds back from the vendor (a credit card company), has decided to re-debit my account for the duplicate payments. They will not attempt to speak with my credit card company, and insist I have to sort this out myself.

The lack of apology, ownership, or proactive communication from Motive Financial regarding an issue that they caused has left a very sour taste, and they have lost my trust.

December 7, 2020
4:21 pm
topgun
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Peter said
I can't say this ended well. I originally posted this just in case other people stumbled upon the same problem with duplicate bill payments in their account, and I don't want to misrepresent what has been a smooth banking relationship (self-serve, mostly) for many years. But Motive Financial customer service, upon failing to obtain the funds back from the vendor (a credit card company), has decided to re-debit my account for the duplicate payments. They will not attempt to speak with my credit card company, and insist I have to sort this out myself.

The lack of apology, ownership, or proactive communication from Motive Financial regarding an issue that they caused has left a very sour taste, and they have lost my trust.

Recently I made a payment on my CC early in the day. I realized in the afternoon that I paid to much. I do not like having a negative balance on my CC. I was able to cancel the payment since it was before the 10:00PM cutoff time. I have at least two checking accounts that I can reverse bill payments. The cutoff for my second is 8:30PM I believe. I do not know if my other checking accounts have this feature.

Have a Great Day

December 7, 2020
6:43 pm
Rick
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I do notice that scheduled payments tend to disappear the evening before. Thought I neglected to pay a bill so entered it for immediate payment. Turns out I did schedule it so it was taken out again in the morning. That's what I get for banking at 2 AM. They did reverse it for me as I recall. Same deal with transfers, and my RBC mastercard is brutal for not having updated entries in the total owing.

December 7, 2020
7:29 pm
Norman1
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Peter said
I can't say this ended well. … But Motive Financial customer service, upon failing to obtain the funds back from the vendor (a credit card company), has decided to re-debit my account for the duplicate payments. They will not attempt to speak with my credit card company, and insist I have to sort this out myself.

The lack of apology, ownership, or proactive communication from Motive Financial regarding an issue that they caused has left a very sour taste, and they have lost my trust.

Unfortunately, there isn't much more Motive Financial can do for you unless Motive wishes to eat the loss. Like a direct deposit, bill payment remittances are considered final.

Under Payments Canada Rule H3, the bill payor financial institution cannot issue a Bill Payment Error Correction Debit without prior authorization from the receiving bill payee. That authorization is deemed to be denied if not provided within 10 business days:

9. A Bill Payor FI shall not seek to initiate a Bill Payment Error Correction Debit without Authorization from the Bill Payee and a Bill Payee Authorization Indicator.

12. Where a Bill Payor FI requests Authorization to initiate a Bill Payment Error Correction Debit and the Authorization is not provided within 10 business days, the Bill Payor FI may treat the request as denied.

There is no obligation, under clearing rules, for a bill payee to grant an authorization:

1. This Rule governs Bill Payment Error Correction Debits made to correct Electronic Bill Payment Errors.

Nothing in this Rule obligates a Bill Payee to Authorize a Bill Payment Error Correction Debit request. If Authorization is not provided, recourse for the error may be handled between the Bill Payor and the Bill Payee outside of the Rules.

December 7, 2020
7:44 pm
Loonie
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Norman1 said

Unfortunately, there isn't much more Motive Financial can do for you unless Motive wishes to eat the loss. Like a direct deposit, bill payment remittances are considered final.

  

Well, THEY made the mistake, so THEY should fix it. And if that means they eat the loss, so be it. If it doesn't cost them anything, they are unlikely to get any smarter about this.

Canadian Western Bank must have an ombudsman, Peter. Perhaps you could try them, and ask specifically that you be reimbursed by the bank, with interest.
At the very least, they should give you an interest-free loan for the same amount for a year, deposited to your account plus $500 for your time and inconvenience. This would give you time to spend down the extra payment. They really aren't trying.

It's absolutely not sufficient to say they have no "obligation". At that rate, they could debit endlessly, until you ran out of money!

December 7, 2020
7:50 pm
Loonie
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Rick said
I do notice that scheduled payments tend to disappear the evening before. Thought I neglected to pay a bill so entered it for immediate payment. Turns out I did schedule it so it was taken out again in the morning. That's what I get for banking at 2 AM. They did reverse it for me as I recall. Same deal with transfers, and my RBC mastercard is brutal for not having updated entries in the total owing.  

We pay BMO MC through CIBC chequing account PAD. They are typically a day late in putting it through, never a day early, and no penalty from BMO for that. We do nothing manually except check that the statements are correct and that there is money in the account to pay the bills.
For this particular function, I would recommend CIBC!

December 7, 2020
8:10 pm
Norman1
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Loonie said

It's absolutely not sufficient to say they have no "obligation". At that rate, they could debit endlessly, until you ran out of money!

They don't have an obligation in this case. Peter ended up triple paying his credit card. Probably more fruitful to call his credit card company, to ask for the excess money back as a cheque or direct deposit, or simply use the credit card to spend it.

Someone did something similar with his phone bill. Didn't press the decimal key hard enough and ended up paying something like $8,956 instead of $89.56 towards the bill!

Contacted his bank Monday morning. Bank suggested it would be faster to call the phone company which agreed to send him a cheque for the difference.

December 7, 2020
8:40 pm
Peter
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To be clear: I did not triple pay. There was no way for me to cancel any previous payments because they did not show up anywhere in my online account. It was 3 days later when Motive Financial deducted the payment from my account, backdated to 3 days prior. This happened twice. Motive Financial triple paid. In no uncertain terms, Motive Financial has admitted that the error was completely on their side. But in some weird way, they've managed to disclaim ownership of the problem and actually make things worse.

For what it's worth, over the weekend, the credit card company said they are willing to mail me a cheque if I wait until the end of the next statement period, and I send them a bank statement showing the money leaving the bank account. (I'm pretty sure they're adding these hoops because Motive Financial had claimed that those were Motive's funds, and so they're worried I would run away with Motive's money -- even though it's my money!) Also, they said that I did not have to do this at all -- that Motive Financial could sort this out without my involvement if Motive Financial were to contact them. That's why I asked Motive Financial to do so today but they said there is nothing more they are willing to do. I was shocked when they said they had gone ahead and debited my savings account once again.

In any case, I'll be fine, and I'll find the right way to politely escalate this with Motive Financial. I'll decide whether to use a different financial institution moving forward. I am lucky I had enough funds in my savings account. I just hope no one got hit by the same bug, although surely it affected other people.

December 7, 2020
9:59 pm
Loonie
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Norman1 said

Loonie said

It's absolutely not sufficient to say they have no "obligation". At that rate, they could debit endlessly, until you ran out of money!

They don't have an obligation in this case. Peter ended up triple paying his credit card. Probably more fruitful to call his credit card company, to ask for the excess money back as a cheque or direct deposit, or simply use the credit card to spend it.

 

I don't think you appreciate what I'm saying. I agreed that they may not have an "obligation" as you define it, but I am saying they have an obligation nonetheless, to treat him fairly, not leave him in the lurch financially, and a duty of care (or something similar) to not send his money where it was not supposed to go. It was an unauthorized debit. They are responsible.

Personally, I don't usually keep enough money in my account to pay the credit card bill twice. If they did this to me, all my other bill payments would bounce, with attendant penalties and injury to my credit report. And, if it were Motive, apparently they'd sit on their laurels, fold their arms across their collective chests, and say they have no "obligation" and that this is perfectly OK. That's BS.

December 8, 2020
8:53 pm
Norman1
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Loonie said

I don't think you appreciate what I'm saying. I agreed that they may not have an "obligation" as you define it, but I am saying they have an obligation nonetheless, to treat him fairly, not leave him in the lurch financially, and a duty of care (or something similar) to not send his money where it was not supposed to go. It was an unauthorized debit. They are responsible.

Responsible for what, though? The funds are not out of Peter's hands. My understanding is that the funds from the "unauthorized debits" are now sitting in Peter's credit card account. The funds are in Peter's left hand instead of in his right one.

Perhaps, Peter can do cash advances from the credit card to retrieve the funds himself. No interest would be payable as long as his credit card balance doesn't go positive.

Now, there could be fees for the cash advances. I checked one of my credit cards. $3.50 for cash advance at a bank machine or teller in Canada. Possibly also a 1% cash equivalent transaction fee (such as for a wire transfer or money order) that's $5 minimum and $10 maximum.

He could try to recover those fees afterwards as damages from Motive Financial's incompetence and dishonest refusal to contact the credit card company for authorization of two bill payment error correction debits to remedy the situation.

December 8, 2020
9:07 pm
Loonie
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They are responsible for all the outcomes of the unauthorized debit.

I don't know how this particular credit card works in terms of cash advances or whether it is set up for that. I've never used that feature on a credit card.

What I do know is that his money was tied up in a place he didn't authorize it to be sent, thus loss of interest and potential for NSF on other bill payments and inability to access his cash. This could affect his credit report.

From what I understand, Motive was not willing to accept responsibility for anything, and that is the point, not so much the details of expenses incurred. This could apply to anyone. Peter was lucky that the consequences for him were relatively minor. It's the principle of accepting responsibility. And I think that's why he posted this incident.

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