Fi­nan­cial con­sump­tion dis­putes in­crease

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By ZHOU WENTING in Shang­hai

zhouwent­ing@chi­nadaily. com.cn

On­line quick pay­ments have trig­gered rapid growth in fi­nan­cial con­sump­tion dis­putes in Shang­hai over the past two years, ac­cord­ing to a se­nior of­fi­cial with the Shang­hai High Peo­ple’s Court .

More than 59,000 such dis­putes were re­ceived by Shang­hai courts from 2010 to 2013, and the num­ber rose to roughly 46,000 in 2014 and nearly 80,000 in 2015, Chen Ya­juan, vice-pres­i­dent of the Shang­hai High Peo­ple’s Court, said dur­ing a news briefing on Mon­day, one day ahead of the In­ter­na­tional Day for Pro­tect­ing Con­sumers’ Rights.

“The num­ber of such dis­putes re­ceived in the first two months of this year was a twodigit growth from that of last year,” she said.

In the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s Pudong New District, more than 20 cases in­volv­ing unau­tho­rized third- party pay­ment on the In­ter­net were ac­cepted by the district court in the lat­ter half of last year, which ac­counted for nearly 50 per­cent of the fi­nan­cial con­sump­tion cases in which banks were be­ing ac­cused, ac­cord­ing to a White Book by Pudong district court con­clud­ing cases in th­ese ar­eas in the past five years.

Con­sumers only need to fill in their ID num­ber, bank card num­ber and con­sumer ver­i­fi­ca­tion code to com­plete an on­line pay­ment, which makes fi­nan­cial risks more hid­den and sud­den, the White Book said.

“Some bankcard hold­ers don’t know about the func­tion of on­line pay­ment while some banks ac­ti­vate the ser­vice for all clients au­to­mat­i­cally, which in­creases the risk for card­hold­ers to have iden­tity theft on the card. And some oth­ers don’t know that the con­sumer ver­i­fi­ca­tion codes sent to their cell phones work as a pass­word to au­tho­rize an on­line pay­ment. They dis­close the code to oth­ers in some cases,” ac­cord­ing to the White Book.

Some banks send the same ver­i­fi­ca­tion code to clients when they ap­ply to ini­ti­ate the on­line pay­ment ser­vice and make their first on­line pay­ment, which in­creases the risk of the code be­ing stolen by oth­ers and a false on­line pay­ment con­ducted.

“Banks must ver­ify with card­hold­ers that the ap­pli­ca­tion of on­line pay­ment ser­vice is made by them­selves and make sure they un­der­stand how it works, and con­sumers need to keep rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion se­cret to pre­vent any leak and eco­nomic loss,” said Gu Quan, head of the fi­nan­cial tri­bunal at Pudong district court.

Prob­lems with the safety of bankcard trans­ac­tions out­side the coun­try have been ex­posed as out­bound tourism has be­come more com­mon­place.

Con­sumers just need to swipe the card with­out the need to press pass­word on POS ma­chines in many for­eign coun­tries, and the ver­i­fi­ca­tion of con­sumers’ sig­na­ture when they swipe the card for shop­ping is far from be­ing strict, so if a credit card is lost, it can be used eas­ily by oth­ers, ac­cord­ing to the White Book.

A Shang­hai res­i­dent sur­named Kong lost his wal­let dur­ing a trip over­seas, and he wasn’t able to make a phone call to the bank to re­port the loss of the card as he was in the middle of a sci­en­tific ex­pe­di­tion when he dis­cov­ered that the card was miss­ing. His credit card was stolen and was used for sev­eral pay­ments.

“To pre­vent such loss, card­hold­ers can dis­cuss with the bank to set a rea­son­able ceil­ing for the credit limit and the num­ber of pay­ments ev­ery day. When some ex­tremely high pay­ments hap­pen or when pay­ments hap­pen fre­quently, the card can be frozen by the bank as a pre­cau­tion,” Gu said.

The num­ber of such dis­putes re­ceived in the first two months of this year was a twodigit growth from that of last year.”

vice-pres­i­dent of the Shang­hai High Peo­ple’s Court

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