Paying online is quick and simple. Stopping an online payment can be just as simple. There are many reasons to stop a payment. You'll need to do so if you scheduled a payment in error or for the wrong amount. You may also realize that you gave the vendor the wrong account number, perhaps giving them the number for your savings account when you want to take the payment from checking. To stop the payment, you'll need to notify either the vendor or your bank. Your chances of successfully stopping a payment are best when you act promptly.
Canceling the Payment
If you can, cancel the online payment with the company or vendor you scheduled the payment with. For example, if you have set up automatic payments for your car insurance or mortgage, you may be able to cancel the payment up to the day of the scheduled payment. If you scheduled the payment online, log in and follow the instructions to cancel it that way. Check the scheduled payments or pending payments screen and look for an option to cancel. If it is too late to cancel the payment online, call the company directly. You may have the option of canceling by phone.
Requesting Stop Payment
A stop payment allows you to stop the payment on a personal check or a pre-authorized electronic payment. If a vendor refuses to stop the payment, you can work around them and request one through your bank. Request a stop payment by logging into your account online or calling your bank. In most cases, you'll need to make the request three business days before the payment date when going through your bank. Stop payments only work on a payment that has not already cleared your account. They don't work on cash-equivalent payments, such as money orders, or debit card purchases
Check your account history to make sure a payment hasn't cleared already before requesting any action. When you do cancel or stop a payment, check your online statement or transaction history to monitor the canceled or stopped payment. Report any unauthorized payments promptly, including any payments that you canceled. If you cancel sending a payment from your bank and it fails to stop the payment, your bank may be financially responsible for the payment.
Expect a Fee
Many banks charge a fee for a stop payment. The fee can vary between banks and may even depend on the type of account you have with the bank. Additionally, the fee may vary depending on whether the request is for a paper check, electronic check or automated payment. Both Bank of America and Santander Bank have stop payment fees of $30. If the payment is stopped by you, without the bank's intervention, you will usually avoid paying additional fees.
Sara Mahuron specializes in adult/higher education, parenting, budget travel and personal finance. She earned an M.S. in adult/organizational learning and leadership, as well as an Ed.S. in educational leadership, both from the University of Idaho. Mahuron also holds a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in international studies-business and economics.