Capitec to refund 25,000 customers after R99 debit fraud hits South Africa’s banks

Thousands of banking customers have raised concerns about fraudulent debit orders.

Its severity was highlighted in a Moneyweb article which stated that a number of customers had been hit by a ‘mysterious R99 debit order’.

The report estimated that as many as 750,000 fraudulent debit orders may have been implemented across the country’s five major banks – totalling R74 million.

Speaking to BusinessTech, Francois Viviers, executive of marketing and communications at Capitec, said that the occurrence of fraudulent debit orders has been a pain point for all banking clients and a great concern to the bank for some time.

“Fraudulent debit order originators typically submit debit orders for less than R99 as this is normally below the SMS notification threshold and therefore does not attract as much attention,” he said.

“To protect our clients from these companies that put through invalid debit orders, Capitec has reduced the minimum value that triggers an SMS notification from R100 to R30 so that clients are informed of smaller debit orders on their accounts,” he said.

“We also motivate our clients to review their transaction history regularly and to dispute and stop fraudulent debit orders on their banking app or at any one of our branches.”

Viviers said that through active monitoring of these disputes, Capitec have identified this particular debit order originator as potential fraud and escalated it to PASA (Payments Association of SA) three weeks ago.

In cooperation with the rest of the industry, PASA has given permission to reverse the debit orders and refund clients last week, he said,

“We since started the process to refund over 25,000 clients for the value of the debit order as well as the debit order fee and debit order dispute fees,” he said.

“This is a good illustration of how Capitec approaches business by acting proactively in the best interest of our clients.

“We will continue to evaluate debit order originators and to work with PASA and the other banks to address the issue.”

Read: South Africa could introduce bank account portability

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Capitec to refund 25,000 customers after R99 debit fraud hits South Africa’s banks