Beware Transferring Money (or Tips to Have a Secure Transaction)
By Peter Rizzo
After a situation a couple of weeks ago and some incidents I’ve read about over the last month, I thought it apropos to discussion safely transferring funds. A few weeks ago, one of our clients mailed a rollover check into our preferred custodian (his current custodian refused to transfer electronically). He sent it priority mail and tracked it as received by the custodian. After a few days when the rollover didn’t show up in his account, questions were asked. The custodian scans every piece of mail and incoming checks, but to no avail, the check wasn’t found. To our client’s dismay, there had to be a stop payment put on the check and the process restarted. Needless to say, the client was extremely upset and questioned re-mailing a check and the time necessary for completion. The old custodian still refused to send electronically so our custodian’s client relations manager drove from Atlanta to Murray, Kentucky to escort the check personally to assure delivery (375 miles). In my mind, that’s great above and beyond customer service and the situation ended well, but, it’s not always the case. There are many stories recently about funds being transferred or wires sent and never reaching the required destination. Lately, some custodians are only sending paper checks rather than electronic transfer which lends to more risks.
Here are some tips to hopefully ensure your funds get to the right person or company as quickly as possible:
- Wires — If you are wiring funds, make sure you talk to the receiver and get the wiring info from them directly. Do not rely on emailed instructions or check instructions with the receiving party before wiring.
- If mailing a check, get tracking and require a signature. You can track progress and delivery and it also tells you who signed for it, which holds the receiver more accountable. When someone signs for a letter or package they are much more attentive to make sure delivery gets to where it is supposed to go.
- Money Order – Remember a money order can disappear the minute it gets in the recipient’s hands without real traceable evidence, so refrain from this method.
- E-Check – Quick and Secure but link should be initiated by payee as on their site or by email, for then the burden lies on them to have it correct. Look in the address bar to see where the link is going. Be sure it’s on a site you can Identify, E.g. If you are paying for a setup to Checkbookira.com and the site doesn’t have that in it, be wary.
- Cash – Never ever send cash through mail or even courier unless signed for by all handling parties. This might seem very obvious but custodians have said it happens from time to time.
The Bottom line is knowing your receiver as well as possible and look at the worst-case scenario and how you can take steps to avoid it