SEPA EURO transfer took 6 days to arrive!

Hello, Revolut community!

I have been a happy Revolut user for more than 5 years and never had any problems. But in recent days I have experienced something unusual:

SEPA EURO transfer took 6 days to arrive! (instead of usually a few hours, up to a maximum of 2 days)

Details are as follows:

Regular SEPA (not instant) transfer from EUR account in Latvian high street bank to EUR account in Revolut Lithuania. Amount approx 162 EUR.

Transfer initiated on March 12, 2024 (Tuesday) 17:05.
Transfer finally arrived on March 18, 2024 (Monday) 16:21.

It’s almost 6 (six) full days (just 44 minutes less), or 143 hours and 16 minutes.

Regular SEPA EURO transfers should arrive in under 2 business days. The transfer should have arrived by the end of March 14. That means the transfer took 4 business days and 2 weekend days. It’s 6 days in total.

By Monday morning of March 18, the transfer still hadn’t arrived. I had prepared all the necessary documents and sent them to the sender for him to contact his bank and recall the transfer. It’s a mystery, but the transfer finally arrived when the sender was in a waiting queue for a call to his bank representative. Just a few more minutes and the sending bank would have initiated a transfer recall procedure. It could cost me a serious amount in bank commissions and could take a hell of a long time.

It’s kind of mystical. Or does it make some kind of sense?

Can someone explain to me what happened?

How do I reliably do my finances if I can’t rely even on the maximum term of 2 days for this type of transfers?

P.S. One more thing. Some transfers from the same sender started to arrive in weird times: 2:08 (night), 7:09 (morning). Usually transfers from high street Latvian banks arrive around 10:00 (morning) or around 14:00 (afternoon). This is not a problem as such as the transfers arrived on the next day. It’s just strange.

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The big unknown: when did the sender send the money? I am not implying anything here, but for further investigations, you would need some sort of authenticated proof from the sender’s bank.

Slip ups happen, there are many potential reasons for a delay. And unless you suffered financial damages that you want compensation for, it’s not worth it. You could potentially relay the case to financial authorities, but you would have to proof how you were harmed to get more out if it than just a “sorry, it took longer than it should have” from whoever caused the delay.

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I have a transfer confirmation document from the sender. I have proof.

I have submitted it to Revolut Locate Transfer tool. It was reviewed by them and they said they couldn’t locate the transfer in their systems.

I have also spoken to a Revolut Customer Support agent. They have issued me a Missing Incoming Transfer document for this fact.

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Things to consider:

17:05 might be after the cut off time for transfers on the senders side. Under the regulation, transfers after cut off time are sent the next day. So let’s assume that is the case here, the transfer was sent March 13. It arrived Monday, 18. That is within 4 bank working days – not 6. Weekends don’t count.

Was there a bank holiday anywhere? Did either the sender or the recipient delay the transfer for additional checks like money laundering? Did any of the involved parties like a third party that facilitates SEPA transfers for the sender undergo planned maintenance of any kind that would delay the transfer? These are all very common reasons for delays.

You don’t seem to have authenticated proof for when t he money was sent. The sender himself provided this to you, it seems.

You’re saying someone somehow didn’t fulfil their obligation to follow the regulation and execute the transfer within the SEPA rules. Your way for resolution is to contact financial oversight authorities. Again, is it worth it? You might get an apology for this slip up. Unless you can proof that you were damaged. In that case, financial authorities can grant you compensation. How likely is it in your opinion that they’re going to fore a full fledged forensic investigation onto banks for a transfer of 162 Euros that took 4 days instead of 2?

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This is exactly what I wrote:

None. Here is a list of bank holidays in Latvia for 2024:

The sender has contacted his bank twice and the bank said the transfer went smoothly.

As I said, the sender was told by his bank twice that all went well. They didn’t tell him about any of these things.

The sender provided me with a transfer confirmation document generated by his self-service internet banking interface. I’m on good terms with the sender so I can get an official stamped or electronically signed document from the sender bank anytime.

Exactly. Someone somehow didn’t fulfil their obligation. I wasn’t financially damaged. I had some stress, and the sender had some stress. It’s a mismanagement of expectations, as it is called. The investigation may cost more than the amount of the transfer, so it is financially not worth it. But money is not important here. What is important is our expectations of the banking system. What we need is an explanation so we can update our expectations. It would be nice to get an explanation of what is happening while all of it is still happening. But some explanation after the fact is something that is essentially needed.

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From the perspective of Revolut’s customer support, it does not matter how trustworthy you think the sender is. A PDF self-generated from someone’s online banking isn’t really helping your case in this matter. (My bank for example states explicitly on the receipt itself that such a receipt is no form of proof for a transfer.)

This public community also can’t help you further. You need to contact customer support. I am assuming you’ve done that already and you’re not happy with the response. When it was indeed something like suspected money laundering that delayed the transfer, no one is going to tell you. Sounds like bank A says we sent it as usual, and bank B says it arrived at a certain date. A case of “he said she said”. At this point, you simply don’t know what happened until the transfer was credited to your account.

Your options are now to follow Revolut’s official complaints procedure as outlined in the T&Cs and wait for a response. Maybe they are willing to investigate this (I doubt it), look at the metadata of the actual transfer, contact the sender’s bank and so on. Banks often do not start an investigation for transfers that are less than 5 days late. Most delayed transfers “resolve themselves” within that timeframe.

If you’re not happy with how a bank handles your complaint, you can then present the case to a regulatory body that might be able to force involved parties to be more forthcoming about what happened.

Good luck!