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Absa glitch behind Capitec chaos

Jan 07 2013 14:50 Fadia Salie and Byron Messaris
Capitec Bank in Centurion Mall.

Capitec Bank in Centurion Mall. A technical error by Absa which inconvenienced many Capitec clients is being probed by the bank. (Pic: Centurion Mall)

Company Data

CAPITEC BANK HOLDINGS LIMITED [JSE:CPI]

Last traded 288.25
Change 2.45
% Change 0.01
Cumulative volume 172829
Market cap 33.23bn

Last Updated: 31/10/2014 at 02:20. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

BARCLAYS AFRICA GROUP LIMITED [JSE:BGA]

Last traded 175.56
Change 4.56
% Change 0.03
Cumulative volume 825446
Market cap 148.83bn

Last Updated: 31/10/2014 at 02:22. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

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Cape Town - Capitec Bank Holdings [JSE:CPI] on Monday confirmed that all transactions debited late on its clients’ accounts were made at Absa-supported card machines during the period December 13 to 18 2012.

"In particular the majority of these transactions occurred at retailers supported by Absa and who have the card machine integrated into their own till systems," said Charl Nel, head of communications at Capitec.

He said this late submission of transactions by Absa Group [JSE:ASA] is unusual but not outside the interbank card system rule.

In some instances and for all the major banks, transactions can take up to seven days to authorise.

"It is still uncertain how many of other banks’ clients were also affected," said Nel.

He was responding to a report on Fin24 on Sunday that 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.

Nel gave the assurance that no Capitec Bank clients had a double deduction of the same amount on their account.

Capitec, South Africa's fastest growing retail bank with 4.2 million clients, said in a press release that affected clients were notified of their payments via SMS on the day of the initial purchase. However, due to the technical error on Absa’s side, the payments were not authorised until the morning of January 6 2013.

Nel said Capitec understands the extent of the frustration and the bank will communicate directly with individuals affected.

"Capitec Bank acknowledges the significant inconvenience that this has placed on our clients and we sincerely apologise. We are urgently investigating the problem and updates will be released as soon as possible."

Absa's response

Fin24 contacted Absa, which sent the following response:

“Absa experienced a system problem in processing card transactions from some of our retailers from 16 to 18 December 2012. Only transactions processed through the Master Card International clearing system were affected.

"After identifying the problem internally, it was rectified.

“The transaction being presented now for debit to the client’s account is still a valid transaction, completing the original purchase transaction.

“In order to ensure that we make our customers’ lives much easier, measures have been put in place to ensure this processing error does not re-occur.

"We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused to all affected cardholders and Absa acquired retailers.”

 - Fin24

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absa group  |  capitec bank holdings  |  banks
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