Beware large ATM cash deposits

When dealing with large cash deposits at ATMs, banking customers need to be mindful of possible technical issues that could result in thousands of rands being unaccounted for.

According to an official complaint lodged against FNB by banking customer Kevin Kao, over R10,000 disappeared when he encountered a techinical issue while depositing cash at an FNB ATM.

In the complaint, Kao detailed how, in mid-March 2013, a sum of R18,100 was deposited at an FNB ATM in Johannesburg.

In the process, part of the money deposited into the ATM was accepted (R7,400), while some notes were rejected. It was at this point that an error occured, causing the ATM to jam.

The printed slip Kao received showed that R7,400 and two R200 notes were accounted for in the process – but an outstanding amount of R10,300 was nowhere to be seen.

According to the complaint lodged against the bank, Kao was assured at the branch that a technician would fix the issue, and that any monies jammed in the machine would be accounted for, and that the amount of R7,800 would not be transferred to the intended account until an investigation was completed.

By early April, however, Kao was informed that R7,800 was transferred to the intended account, and that the investigation showed that there was no other money jammed in the machine, and no reflection of R10,300 on the ledger.

Unsatisfied that over R10,000 had “just disappeared” after FNB’s internal investigations, Kao lodged a formal complaint with FNB, threatening to take the case to the Ombudsman of Banking Services.

What to do when your money disappears

BusinessTech approached FNB for clarification on its ATM cash services and the risks involved with having funds disappear.

Responding to queries about Kao’s situation, FNB spokesperson, Abdul Aziz Cassim, head of self-service delivery for FNB Banking Channels, said that there is no issue of “funds disappearing”, saying that money was jammed in the ATM’s cash receptor.

“Once the maintainence was done on the machine, the customer was refunded,” Cassim said.

Cassim further offered advice to banking customers making use of the bank’s ATM deposit services to avoid similar situations and to avert panic should technical errors occur.

“When using ATMs, it is imperative that customers count their cash before depositing so that they are aware of the value at hand,” Cassim said.

“It is also very important that customers do not enable jamming of the machine. This can be avoided by ensuring that no rubber bands, gem clips, staples or anything other than cash notes are presented for deposit,” Cassim said.

In the event that technical issues do occur, FNB said that it is well-equipped to deal with the situation, as internal processes are in place to recover any lost transactions and maintainence is regularly conducted on the bank’s cash devices to prevent these situations.

“In addition to this, educational information is displayed to assist customers in depositing cash,” Cassim said.

By time of publishing, Kao’s claim had been dealt with and the “missing” fee had been credited to his account, although no further explanation regarding the situation was provided.

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Beware large ATM cash deposits