Financial consumption disputes increase
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