As part of its ongoing bid to combat rogue debit orders which are currently impacting the industry and some of its customers, FNB has waived the fee for stopping unauthorised debit orders through its electronic banking channels and is also actively clamping down on business customers who are facilitating unauthorised collections.
“The issue of unauthorised debit orders is of great concern to us as a bank, given our promise of helpfulness and to always keep our customers’ money safe,” said FNB Consumer Core Banking CEO Ryan Prozesky in a statement on Thursday.
“Therefore, we are not prepared to sit back and watch our customers bear the brunt, but will continue taking the lead in identifying effective measures and solutions to protect them,” he said.
“We believe that eliminating fees associated with stopping debit orders via our electronic channels will empower customers to have full control of their bank accounts.
“Customers will no longer be charged for stopping unauthorised debit orders of less than R200 through the FNB App, Online Banking and USSD for those who do not have access to the internet and smartphones.”
Prozesky said that the bank was also actively monitoring and analysing non-FNB businesses that are processing illegal debit orders on FNB customers’ accounts while taking steps to act decisively to curb such activity among its business clients.
Those who are found to be processing illegal debit orders will be reported to the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) and the bank will eventually terminate its services.
“While we are collaborating with the industry to develop long term solutions, including DebiCheck, we see it as our role as a responsible bank to warn and help customers protect their hard earned cash,” said Prozesky.
Stopping a debit order
FNB customers are currently notified via SMS every time a new debit order is raised on their accounts for the first time, as well as the amount and the service provider’s name, and if they believe it to be unauthorised, have the ability to stop, dispute and reverse it.
“When stopping a particular unauthorised debit order, customers are able to specify a Rand value or range of amounts to prevent debit orders from a particular collector to be processed in the future, said Prozesky.
“It is advisable for consumers to select a wide Rand value range to make sure that the unauthorised collector cannot simply change the Rand value and thereby circumvent the stop instruction.”
The bank also has a proactive fraudulent debit order warning system which alerts customers, through SMS or App notifications, to potential suspicious debit orders that are currently running.
Along with the notification system, FNB has an added functionality on its electronic platforms that allows customers to view which current debit orders are running off their account as well as the ability to stop, dispute and reverse debit orders that they believe are unauthorised.
“Debit orders that are higher than R200 can still be stopped, disputed and reversed via our contact centre or at any FNB branch, at a fee. This is due to the fact that a majority of rogue debit orders are less than R100 and to further prevent customers from abusing the system by reversing or stopping legitimate debit orders,” said Prozesky.