Martin Lewis warns anyone with bank accounts to look for ‘hidden payments’

Martin Lewis has urged anyone with a bank account to check their spending on their bank statements as soon as possible. The money-saving expert warned it could be ‘dangerous’ for people’s bank balances if they don’t review their payments.

If bank account holders don’t verify, they risk paying recurring payments for things they don’t use or know about. During a recent interview, he explained how not to get caught.

“Direct debits, standing orders and recurring payments let money flow from your accounts without needing your consent. Your bank should be able to provide you with a list of the first two. Recurring payments are little known and This is where you allow companies to take a monthly ‘payment’ from your debit or credit card.”

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Do not expose yourself to an unpleasant shock

Martin cautioned that finding these recurring payments would take “a bit of searching” through the statements. He continued, “Once you have received the payments, decide if you still want the good or the service. If not and you are no longer under contract, cancel.

Someone’s bank should be able to provide them with a list of the top two. However, recurring payments are slightly different from direct debits and standing orders. Recurring payments – also known as “continuous payment authority” – occur when the business requests the long number on their credit or debit card rather than their bank details.

People will either have to tell a company or their bank/card provider to cancel them. The Money Saving Expert website suggests users check their direct debits to see what they need and what they don’t.

There are three types of regular payments, all of which let money flow from his accounts without needing his approval. On the website it says: “It’s dangerous, so you should check regularly.” More than 1.2 million subscription payments have been canceled since the summer of last year as people feel the pressure of the cost of living crisis, according to research from Lloyds Bank.

Streaming services for TV, movies and music, such as Netflix and Spotify, accounted for nearly half (47.1%) of abandoned items. Subscriptions to marketplaces – like eBay, where people buy or sell goods online – have also been canceled in large numbers, with 17.6% deleted since June last year.

Also, another tip mentioned in the article was zero balance transfer credit cards. If people can’t afford to clear credit and store cards in full each month, the money-saving expert suggests a zero percent balance transfer.

He said: ‘We are not advising you to navigate your way through the crisis. But if you have credit and store card debt and are paying interest, it’s always worth seeing if you can save with a balance transfer card. These allow you to transfer debt from old cards to a new one with zero percent interest, so each repayment reduces your actual debt.”

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Shawanda H. Saldana