By Nicolette Dirk, finance writer, Justmoney.co.za
Standard Bank has denied that there is any link between its Zambian business and unauthorised debit orders that have come off client’s accounts from Capital Software. Last month a number of Standard Bank clients complained about unauthorised debit orders deducted from their accounts in favour of Capital Software.
According to reports, the R39.70 deduction from their accounts was conducted by Capital Software. Capital Software claims it’s deduction is a premium cost for the Ubuntu Funeral Plan. Standard Bank confirmed that this is a product offered by its Zambia operations but told Justmoney that there is no link between the debit order fraud and their Zambia business.
“Although we do offer a funeral policy called Ubuntu Funeral Plan, our investigation has been unable to find any link to Stanbic Zambia. In addition, this funeral plan is available only to customers in Zambia and may not be sold cross border,” said Standard Bank.
How did these unauthorised debit orders get deducted?
Standard Bank said they suspected that someone is illegally using the name of their funeral plan to withdraw funds from customer accounts.
“We are still investigating why our customers specifically are being debited and suspect that someone has illegally managed to get hold of data with our customers’ details on it,” said Standard Bank.
Standard Bank further stated that this list does not originate from them and they are now working closely with the Payments Association of South Africa (Pasa) to try to get to the bottom of this matter.
Walter Volker, chief executive officer of Pasa said that in recent years the abuse of both the Debit Order System (DO) and Early Debit Order System (EDO) has become problematic.
"About 0,6 % of the debit orders are disputed which, on average is about 170 000 per month.Between 4,6% and 6% of early debit orders are disputed. However, some of these disputes include reasons such as incorrect dates,amounts, an unknown beneficiary and often just because consumers want to manage their cash flow," said Volker.
According to Volker, these type of criminals will set up call centres and “sell something” attractive to obtain the banking details of unknowing consumers.
Some even buy or steal customer lists from commercial companies such as trade unions, gyms, clubs, cell phone companies, etc.and use those to make illegal deductions.
“Our customers are our first priority in this matter and that they will not be out of pocket in any way. Debit order fraud is an issue that impacts all the banks and we would like to appeal to customers to closely monitor their bank statements for any unauthorised debit orders, and to contact their bank immediately should they detect anything unusual on their statements,” said Standard Bank.
Will clients be charged if they query these debit orders?
Standard bank said the reversal process would not cost Standard Bank clients anything and urged consumers to check their statements on a regular basis and to notify their bank as soon as possible in the event of an unusual debit order. “The bank will then reverse the transaction and will block any future debit orders coming off of your account, from the account in question,” said Standard Bank.
How can you dispute an unauthorised debit order?
According to Pasa, your first recourse is to the party with whom the debit order was signed. If this process is unsuccessful, you should then approach your bank to dispute the debit order. You will need to declare the reason for the dispute. You will also need the following documentation:
• Your ID document
• Your account number
• Your bank statement
• A copy of your debit order mandate
For more information you can call Pasa on 011 645 6760 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Standard Bank customers can contact 0860 101 101 or email CustomerRelations@standardbank.co.za