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Making IDC payments from Citibank (USA) bank account?

Making IDC payments from Citibank (USA) bank account?

Old Sep 22, 20, 12:19 pm
  #1  
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Making IDC payments from Citibank (USA) bank account?

I need your help.

I have got a UK-issued IDC and always electronically paid via Citibank NA. I did the same for this time, but obviously the card balance was not cleared after two weeks, so I spoke to Citibank.

What I found was that the payment was disbursed by a cheque on this occasion, whilst the Amex account does not take any cheque payment. I tried to figure out why that happened, and asked Citi to cancel the cheque so that I can make a new payment electronically. Citi was helpful and cancelled the payment, then tried to create a new payee with bank transfer, then they identified the issue. Basically Citi no longer pays to the Amex account electronically, due to "probably" recent forgery or some other security breach related the account. So, the payment method for Amex was automatically set to "paper cheque".

Does anyone notice this issue? Can I still clear the balance via my account with Citi NA?
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Old Sep 22, 20, 1:00 pm
  #2  
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You may always pay via wire transfer. Depending on the amount, you may be able to do that online. Whether there is a fee and what that fee might be will depend on your "status" with Citi and the amount involved.
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Old Sep 22, 20, 5:43 pm
  #3  
mia
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This page explains payment options:

https://www.americanexpress.com/icc/help.html

Originally Posted by Dark Blue View Post
.... Citi no longer pays to the Amex account electronically, due to "probably" recent forgery or some other security breach related the account.....
Does this mean that Citi is paying ALL American Express accounts by paper check, or is this error state specific to your account?

Last edited by mia; Sep 22, 20 at 5:56 pm
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Old Sep 23, 20, 6:00 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
This page explains payment options:

https://www.americanexpress.com/icc/help.html

Does this mean that Citi is paying ALL American Express accounts by paper check, or is this error state specific to your account?
Yes, since my "payee" has no option other than "paper check", I tried to add a new payee with a Citi rep over the phone. When I gave him the ABA code in the link, he said they no longer allow to send money electronically to this Amex account for security reasons. This is why my money was sent by a cheque for this time.

The rep also pointed that the payment method should be always displayed whilst finishing a payment, however, I admitted I did not pay attention to it - I had been paying in the same way for over 10 years!
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Old Sep 23, 20, 6:03 am
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How strange. I suggest that you tell him that in future you can only communicate via carrier pigeon, these newfangled things like telephone and internet are not secure enough for you. 🤣🤣🤣
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Old Sep 23, 20, 6:21 am
  #6  
mia
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Originally Posted by Dark Blue View Post
.... When I gave him the ABA code ....
That ABA code is specific to the International Dollar Card, which suggests the problem does not apply to domestic USA-issued accounts. I no longer have an IDC account, but I paid using my bank's online billpay service, and I treated the IDC the same as a USA-issued card and simply entered the card number. I do not know if this was supposed to work, or would still work. If you do not want to try that approach (with a small test payment), it sounds as if you should enroll in the Direct Debit option.

For reference, paper checks are still very common in the USA financial system, including transfers between financial institutions that "know" each other very well.
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Old Sep 23, 20, 7:42 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
That ABA code is specific to the International Dollar Card, which suggests the problem does not apply to domestic USA-issued accounts. I no longer have an IDC account, but I paid using my bank's online billpay service, and I treated the IDC the same as a USA-issued card and simply entered the card number. I do not know if this was supposed to work, or would still work. If you do not want to try that approach (with a small test payment), it sounds as if you should enroll in the Direct Debit option.

For reference, paper checks are still very common in the USA financial system, including transfers between financial institutions that "know" each other very well.
Right. Once the money comes back into my account (they cancelled the cheque yesterday), I will give it another try. I usually use the card for purchases in the US only, so no payment since this March. The payment in March went through as usual, but I just realised the balance wasn't cleared yesterday though I made via the Citi bill pay (I just picked the registered payee as before). I can see the registered payee (= Amex) having the cheque option, which cannot be edited to an alternative payment method.

In terms of the cheque payment, Amex says that some accounts accept cheque payments but not mine....

If what Citi said is true, I thought many more Amex customers paying via Citi have been affected...
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Old Sep 24, 20, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
I paid using my bank's online billpay service, and I treated the IDC the same as a USA-issued card and simply entered the card number. I do not know if this was supposed to work, or would still work. If you do not want to try that approach (with a small test payment), it sounds as if you should enroll in the Direct Debit option.
I managed to get the money back into my account after the cancellation of cheque, I tried to do several ways via Citi. I tried "bill pay" for a credit card, but the card number was recognised as an Amex card but NOT as a US card, eventually the payment option was automatically set to "paper cheque". I could, however, set up a payee for wire transfer, but the fee is $25 per transaction. I have never paid such a fee for bill payments, I do not understand it.

The other option I see in the Citi account is Zelle, does anyone know this payment method? Looks like PayPal but am not sure about what it is.
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Old Sep 24, 20, 12:14 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Dark Blue View Post
....the card number was recognised as an Amex card but NOT as a US card, ....
It looks as if you will need to enroll in the Direct Debit method.

Wire Transfers are useful, but would not normally be used for routine bill payments. (Read about the difference between ACH billpay systems and Wire Transfers HERE.)
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Old Sep 25, 20, 7:26 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
It looks as if you will need to enroll in the Direct Debit method.

Wire Transfers are useful, but would not normally be used for routine bill payments. (Read about the difference between ACH billpay systems and Wire Transfers HERE.)
Thanks mia, I again spoke to a Citi agent, the only option to avoid the $25 is the DD payment. According to the agent, Amex has disabled electronic funds transfer recently, which made my payment option switch to "paper check" automatically. What Citi does is to try to send money using any other available options once requested, so they just sent my payment by a cheque instead of the usual electronic transfer...

Setting up the DD takes a few weeks, I have to use the wire transfer...not happy.
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Old Jan 22, 21, 7:15 am
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me too. I have a 6USD charge on the sending side and Stanchart in NY charges 25USD.
IF it is the case that the only payment option AMEX allows attracts a charge by their bank (standard chartered) 25USD other than a US bank account by direct debit, I think it would lead to some interesting complaints.
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Old Jan 23, 21, 2:55 am
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Originally Posted by GordonMacPherson View Post
me too. I have a 6USD charge on the sending side and Stanchart in NY charges 25USD.
IF it is the case that the only payment option AMEX allows attracts a charge by their bank (standard chartered) 25USD other than a US bank account by direct debit, I think it would lead to some interesting complaints.
Not sure where you are based but Citi UK recently waived all worldwide wire fees, which makes it a great account to settle the Amex IDC (or any other) bill.
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