FNB says it detected abnormally high volumes and disputes of suspicious debit orders in December 2018 and January 2019.
The bank said in a statement that a large number of customers are disputing ‘Procall’ and ‘Mzansi’ debit orders using the FNB App and online banking – among other channels.
As part of its investigation, the bank contacted a number of customers to validate the debit order mandates provided by Procall.
The feedback from customers was that they had not given authority for the debit order, it said.
“Our investigations have provided sufficient proof that the impacted customers had not provided a mandate for the debit order and as result, the debits to customer accounts were unauthorised,” said Dr Christoph Nieuwoudt, chief executive of FNB Consumer.
“FNB is proactively reversing all Procall debit orders including any associated charges and we are working with the corresponding bank to reverse all Mzansi debit orders.
“We are working with the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) and the South African Banking Risk and Information Centre (SABRIC) on the matter and will be pursuing criminal charges.”
Nieuwoudt said that FNB will depploy analytical, forensic and legal expertise to protect customers against unauthorised debit orders.
“We apologise to impacted customers for the inconvenience caused and encourage them to regularly review their bank statements for any abnormalities,” he said.
Currently, FNB customers can stop, dispute or reverse unauthorised debit orders of less than R200 for free on the FNB App, online banking and cellphone banking for those who do not have access to the internet and smartphones.
In addition, the bank notifies customers via SMS every time a new debit order is raised on their accounts, with the ability to stop, dispute and reverse it.