FNB systems error results in double debits

By Staff Writer
By Angelique Ruzicka, editor, Justmoney

FNB customers were infuriated over the weekend when they discovered duplicate transactions coming off their account as well as the bank charges associated with them. In some instances though customers experienced duplicate credits too.

The blunder, which FNB said was down to ‘human error’, was swiftly dealt with after customers took to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to vent their frustration and anger at the bank. 

Today Raj Makanjee, executive responsible for transactional banking, explained what happened to Justmoney: “A limited set of customer transactions i.e. only transactions processed in the overnight batch (typically interbank EFT and card transactions and not online real-time transactions which form the majority of our transactions) from the 3rd of July were processed again in the Friday 4 July evening batch run reflecting on Saturday 5 July morning. All duplicate transactions were reversed by Saturday evening.”

He added: “FNB can confirm that all online systems are working normally and advises that all duplicate transactions have been reversed to affected customers. The bank confirms that any related banking fees that occurred due to this incident will be refunded as normal course of business. We once again apologise for the inconvenience caused to affected customers.”

The bank refused to say how many customers had been affected but Makanjee explained: “Only those customers who had transactions in the duplicated batch [were affected], thus only a small percentage of our client base was affected.”
Social media rant
One angry customer complained on the bank’s Facebook page about how the double debit error resulted in him being thousands of Rand overdrawn: “Too little too late. FNB should have sent out an SMS immediately and not waited days for their clients to have to find the problem themselves, wasting millions of peoples time on the internet analysing bank statements, standing in bank queues and holding on the phone to speak to a manager. My account was overdrawn by R40k on Sat am due to duplicated debit orders so I could not get to the shops, turning my weekend on its head...”

Another said: “R6000 went off my account and I almost died thought my account had been hacked! This is the 2nd time in one month where FNB has done this to me...I’m not happy at all and they've certainly lost credibility!”

However, some customers were more understanding. “I got all my money back  thanks FNB. Problems happen, it's how you fix them that counts - thanks for the quick fix!” said one person on Twitter.

Another joked on Twitter: “Getting smashed from all angles here. #etoll aka #e-thieves , petrol increase, now #fnb double debits sorry Pravin, no money to pay taxes.”

The social media tirade forced FNB CEO, Jacques Celliers, to tweet reassurances over the weekend as the mistake was being fixed. In his first Tweet on 5 July at 9:30am he said: “Apologies..We are aware of some duplicated transactions posted on customer accounts last night..A-teams all hard at work to correct.” At 1:38pm on the same day he Tweeted an apology to all affected customers, adding: “Teams are making good progress solving.”

A third Tweet from Celliers came on Sunday morning early stating that formal communications pertaining to the error would be released but that it was “all looking good so far this am with regard resolving yesterday’s FNB issues.”

When will I be refunded?
Makanjee said that most fees have already been refunded as part of the reversal process completed on Saturday evening, but added: “Certain minor exceptions are being processed early this week.”

Contact FNB here, if you are still experiencing problems with your account. or email ‘The FNB Guy’ at rbjacobs@fnb.co.za. Alternatively contact the bank via their official Facebook and Twitter pages. 

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