You switch the alarm on when you leave your house and you make sure your alarm is activated after you park your car. But what safety precautions are you taking when it comes to your bankcard?
The Ombudsman for Banking Services, Clive Pillay, received 300 complaints related to bankcard fraud during the course of last year, an increase of 20% from 2014.
Chairperson of the Ombudsman for Banking Services John Myburgh says a new development is on the cards in terms of protecting your money with a card that will allow you to create a credit card number on your cellphone and use it for online purchases, generating a virtual credit card for each online purchase you make.
However, while the banks are taking measures to reduce fraud, the onus remains on you, the consumer, to ensure that you keep your banking details safe so that you cannot be accused of negligence.
Another issue that came up during the past year was that of unauthorised debit orders. Myburgh noted that the Payments Association of SA had plans to implement a system of authenticated collections, which means that banks will be able to verify whether or not a debit order has been authorised by the account holder.
“As the new wave of consumer activism gains momentum, I believe that the Office of the Ombudsman for Banking Services will remain important.
“South African consumers are becoming more aware of their rights and are gaining confidence in taking on institutions when they [the consumers] are treated unfairly,” he says. 1 Don’t pin it on the bank: The complainant’s bankcard and driver’s licence went missing. When she reported her card missing, she found that fraudulent withdrawals had already been made from her account.
Although she had not revealed her PIN to anyone, she told the banking ombudsman that she had chosen to use the first five digits of her identity number as her PIN.
Her complaint against the bank was dismissed on the grounds that she had been negligent in choosing her PIN.
According to the Code of Banking Practice, a consumer should never use a PIN that can be easily guessed, such as a birth date. 2 Don’t spend money that isn’t yours: In this case, the complainant’s overdraft facility was R10 000, but because of a system error at the bank, he was able to access more than R100 000. He spent the money by making cash withdrawals and point-of-sale transactions. He told the ombudsman that he had neither asked for a creditlimit increase nor was there any agreement to restore his credit limit after he had made use of the increased facility.
The ombudsman found that the bank was guilty of granting credit recklessly as no affordability calculations had been carried out. However, the complainant had used and derived benefit from the increased funds.
The ombudsman ordered the complainant to repay the full amount he had used, and the bank to write off all associated fees and charges.