Cape Town - A debit order glitch this weekend that left Absa Group [JSE:ASA] clients inconvenienced and in some instances overdrawn on their bank accounts was due to an unauthorised debit order instruction from First National Bank, Absa said on Tuesday.
The bank was responding to requests via Fin24 to explain what exactly happened to put Absa clients in this predicament.
Fin24 user Steve wrote: “It seems many Absa clients had unauthorised debit order transactions against their accounts during the early hours of Saturday morning, March 16 2013. Please ask Absa to make a public statement explaining exactly what occurred.”
Another client posted on MyBroadband.co.za for Absa account holders to check their accounts:
“This morning I see an unauthorised debit order on my Absa account. I call Absa and they advise they have received many calls this morning of FNB issuing erroneous debit orders against Absa account holders,” the post read.
Absa head of retail markets Arrie Rautenbach said on Tuesday that FNB had submitted a series of debit order instructions to Absa on Friday, March 15 as part of their routine nightly interbank payment instructions.
"These files were duly executed on by Absa as required by South African payment rules.”
It however became clear that some of the FNB instructions were not authorised by Absa customers, leading to customer inconvenience and (an error that) may be resulting in customers' accounts being overdrawn, Rautenbach said.
The unauthorised debit orders are a contravention of the rules of the Payment Association of South Africa, he said, reminding customers of their rights to dispute a debit order should they feel it is unauthorised.
According to Absa, the unauthorised FNB debit orders in question can in most cases be identified by the payment reference “FNBRTCREV”, and relate to system errors that FNB appear to have been experiencing over the last months.
To minimise the impact on Absa customers, Absa is working with FNB to address these unauthorised debits orders and will attempt to have the unauthorised entries reversed systematically, Rautenbach said.
Earlier this year transactions that were debited late on Capitec Capitec Bank Holdings [JSE:CPI] clients’
accounts were made at Absa-supported card machines, Capitec said.
Hundreds of clients who thought their accounts could have been
compromised flocked to Capitec Bank branches after receiving SMS
messages of transactions effected on January 6.
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