Hacking scare at Capitec

Hacking scare at Capitec

2013-01-06 14:36

Cape Town - Hundreds of Capitec Bank Holdings [JSE:CPI] clients on Sunday flocked to branches because they thought their accounts were compromised.

It turned out transactions that were done in December last year, most notably between 16 and 19 December, were only effected on Sunday morning.

But the explanation by branch staff members that certain merchants delayed "banking" transactions in December didn't soothe the shock, panic and confusion among irate clients. In fact, it raised more questions.

"Why would all the retailers, including restaurants, decide to bank at the same time (and that on a Saturday night)? Capitec must own up," a client said.

Some clients who thought they were billed twice for the same transaction demanded their money back: "Just over R2 700 was taken off my account. I can't even recall such a transaction. I demand a refund," one client told Fin24.

Another said it is unfair for transactions to go through weeks after you have done your shopping, this despite having received an SMS confirmation instore of the purchase.

"People work according to the balances shown. This has put most of us into the red," said another called Mike. He saw three transactions from different merchants go through as early as 03:00 on Sunday morning.

People who were queuing outside the Kenilworth branch even before the bank opened at 09:00 on Sunday said during time they spent on hold on the client contact service number, hackers could have done more transactions.

Complaints on customer service site Hellopeter.com confirmed the widespread confusion. One client, Brian Wiggils, posted: "I was billed twice for the same transaction and approximately R1 400 was taken out of my account... how am I supposed to get to work now if the bank has taken my finances allocated for petrol?"

Another complained: "Capitec has just debited two transactions I made to two stores back on December 2 and 18 already."

R2 600 came off another's account for a transaction made on December 14.

One client said: "What is going on with Capitec? They were one of the best banks but are quickly becoming one of the worst.

"A lot of EFT purchases were deducted from my account when they were made and a few days later the money was available again. This happened to over six transactions over the December holidays. It is very difficult to keep track of these amounts and then you overspend.

"This morning, January 6, I got the shocking surprise that my account is being debited with all these small amounts that added up to over R2 000. The same thing happened to my wife's account with over R1 000 also in December and it was corrected today as well.

"I feel this is very unfair as this was a mistake on the bank's side. They should take this amount back in instalments. Please Capitec, get your act together or I will have to switch banks."

Capitec client C Pambane was on hold for over an hour until his air time ran out when he wanted to cancel his card for fear of further transactions: "Surely there has to be a better way to provide service than this, especially when one's money is involved?

"I have had to transfer the remaining funds to my other account in case more money is withdrawn," he said.

Charl Nel, head of communication at Capitec Bank, told Fin24 that it is "actually not a hacking situation".

"The information we have at this moment is that some merchants did not 'bank' their point of sale machine transactions until last night. Some even date back to December 18.

"This means clients that transacted at those merchants only see the money moved out of their account last night.

"This obviously is unexpected and creates confusion with clients. Fortunately our branches in malls are open on Sundays and clients can check at those branches or on their Internet Banking pages that this was actually not a fraudulent transaction, rather a late transaction."

Nel said the Capitec call centre experienced high call volumes on Sunday morning and they are dealing with all enquiries as they come in.

Capitec made a call on merchants to regularly bank their transactions to avoid a recurrence of the situation.

"We do believe we will not be the only bank being affected by a merchant (who can be a client of any bank and have any bank's point of sale machine) who banks his/her point of sale transactions late."

Capitec echoed Nel's explanation on its facebook page: "Note that we are aware that some merchants banked their Point of Sale Machines late.

"This meant that purchases done earlier only reflected on some clients' accounts today. There is no way to force merchants to bank their machines daily. Machines can be linked to any bank."

Capitec clients experienced a similar scare in May 2012.

Have you had a similar experience while banking with another bank? Share it with us.

  • Bra Tebzaah Sibilanga - 2013-01-06 14:55


      johannes.nieuwoudt.9 - 2013-01-06 18:50

      Also got the same sms this morning. I think this was just a problem with their SMS system. When you log onto your Capitec online statement there's a section for uncleared transactions. All these transactions was under this heading on my statement yesterday. My available funds include these transactions. Now the problem this morning was that the movement from uncleared transactions to my transaction list also triggered the SMS. If Capitec can just get their PR under control people won't be this confused.

  • mfanah.radebe - 2013-01-06 14:55

    ohhhh shirt you see now ey came now capitec get your act together.we loosing hope on you now

  • Tiyani - 2013-01-06 14:56

    Just when i am about to switch to Capitec. Mmmmmh

  • beverley.oflynn1 - 2013-01-06 14:57

    What a load of nonsense! Then all the other banks should have the same problem with the same merchants too??????????????

      hilda.macarthur - 2013-01-06 15:18

      My thought exactly! Why would merchants hold back transactions for one bank only? I think someone is just guessing here. Get your IT people in, sounds like a much bigger problem.

      JGBagley - 2013-01-06 17:18

      I've got accounts with FNB, Capitec and previously ABSA. This happens all the time, however I found it especially happens with petrol transactions. Manage your money better. Simple as that.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-06 18:42

      Yep, two transactions made in mid-November were only deducted from my Nedbank account on January 4th. I contacted one of the merchants and he told me he'd been away and as only he has access to put transactions through -not his staff - all his Nov/Dec trans were submitted on Jan 2. Annoying but totally legal. I hear they have 90-days to submit

  • rollingstone.kanyane - 2013-01-06 15:03

    thanks my FNB let circus continue

  • brian.dlamini - 2013-01-06 15:04

    A lot of grown people airing their financial difficulties and blaming the bank.. So u spend money, see it has not been deducted get happy and tell ur friends and spend more?! Y couldn't any of these innocent people inquire then? Nothing is free in this world u fooled yourselves and now u mad at a bank

  • ian.robertreid - 2013-01-06 15:06

    Catching up 2cover much cheaper interest rates and bank charges?

  • garthlwilliams - 2013-01-06 15:11

    These people that are complaining clearly don't keep track of their own finances properly.

      tigra.aeris - 2013-01-07 13:21

      I'm with FNB and had two transactions that were delayed for 9 days. Yet by sticking to my budget, I've still got enough money till payday. People shouldn't complain when it's their own irresponsibility that causes the problem in the first place. Stick to a budget and you'll have far less nasty surprises...

  • mari.theologo - 2013-01-06 15:16

    Doesn't sense because speedpoints automatically bank at night!

      KCorsar - 2013-01-06 16:03

      not true, unless set up to do so. A speedpoint has numerous options available to merchants and its up to the bank and merchant to determine what options (with associated fees) they subscribe to. Some machines work over GSM (mobile) networks as merchants do not have fixed lines. Also most of these transactions will have been processed as an authorised transaction and funds held in reserve until processed. Capitec doesnt offer credit cards, so with a debit card the data will be retained on the chip and only allow access to 'available funds' - well that is how it is supposed to work. Capitec will have some technical explanation for these problems, which should be shared and clients fully advised of cause of the problem.

  • rohin.jadin - 2013-01-06 15:17

    if it is a case of banking late, then the account holders should be happy as they actually get more interest? #justsaying

  • thasaleni - 2013-01-06 15:20

    This happens to all banks, I bank with fnb and I've seen this happen. Sometimes merchants just reserve the amounts instead of debiting and you receive a shock of your life when they debit on a later date. This is a poor way of implementing the POS transactions but really it's nothing the banks have control over

  • cameron.macfarlane.12 - 2013-01-06 15:21

    I smell a class action law suit! Why should customers suffer financial losses due to highly irregular banking activities!

  • cmeiring - 2013-01-06 15:22

    I have this quite frequently on my Visa credit card with FNB. Transactions are hardly recorded as they happen. Sometimes they can take a week for the transaction to be applied and my notifications to come through.

  • nkhangwe.madzivh - 2013-01-06 15:24

    Is going to be a blow for capitec,they were starting to accumulate a lots of clients and their service was growing day by day.nothing difficult like building trust

  • gerhardus.windpomp - 2013-01-06 15:26

    Everyone accepts the monetary system as normal everyday life. Banks created money so do not complain if they make it disappear.

  • shirley.mkitika - 2013-01-06 15:28

    Early hours of the morning i was @ home but there are transactions that went through ma acc in King William'stown as from 2:30 till 5:30 i jst nid the refund 2moro in the morning.

      hilda.macarthur - 2013-01-06 15:47

      Shirley, someone somehow was able to almost clean out my FNB account about a year ago. It took 3 weeks to get the money back. I hope you have better luck, but I truly feel for you because I know that horrible feeling of not knowing how you are going to get through. Hope this is just a glitch that will get sorted soon.

  • Tsholofelo Claudina Sajana - 2013-01-06 15:29

    all the bank have problems, no bank is perfect. if u haven't had any problem with your bank that doesnt mean that other people are satisfied

  • trevor.dean.10 - 2013-01-06 15:47

    I am with Standard. I did not experience these problems, maximum delay about three business days. So I am not sure that only the merchants are to blame, if Capitec was the only bank with this issue.

  • jack.schnitzer.1 - 2013-01-06 15:53

    It is not capitec's fault, people should just accept it and spend their money as usual.

      mohammed.dinath.18 - 2013-01-06 19:47

      many people dont go around keeping a check book folio of there electronic banking bal .they rely on the last sms bal they recieved from the bank

      tigra.aeris - 2013-01-07 13:25

      @mohammed.dinath.18 - And that is exactly the problem. People should NEVER just rely on the last balance received via sms. It's totally irresponsible.

  • atmkhonza - 2013-01-06 15:53

    I may know one of the culprits who are responsible for card duplications and fraud. He told me about his activities but i didnt believe him until he scammed me. These people must be brought to justice.

  • Wikus Erasmus - 2013-01-06 15:56

    Many of my NEDBANK transactions only clear DAYS after swiping. Issue with all the banks. Capitec still has them all beat with reasonable transaction fees.

  • obadia.segwape - 2013-01-06 15:56

    iyo and i just oppened a major account there I AM DOOMED

  • kim.taylor.7169 - 2013-01-06 15:58

    It is not a matter of clients not keeping track of their finances. All notifications are sent by sms to my phone. I was notified that a transaction was made to Checkers on the 15th of December 2012. The same transaction was debited this morning. Same amount, reference and merchant. I went back to the 15th of December on my phone and verified that this money was debited. I don't blame Capitec as I don't have the facts, but upon visiting my nearest branch tomorrow, I do expect this to be rectified. Any clients who have incurred charges for being overdrawn should also dispute these.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-06 19:56

      From my experience with electronic transactions, the first SMS is usually just that an hold has been put on your a/c for that amount. The second SMS is when the transaction actually went through, was completed. Check you statement for 15 Dec+ 5 days and see if it was debited at that time. From what I've experienced it didn't. The actual trans went through in the last 2 days. If it went through 2x, then you have a case. Otherwise, sorry for you - allegedly, merchants have 90 days to submit a transaction and there's 0 you can do about that.

  • grubby.paws.35 - 2013-01-06 16:03

    This is not limited to Capitec. I bank with FNB and this happens on occasion.

  • mlungic - 2013-01-06 16:52

    Capitec shid follow the simple way which is being isee by The Big 4, reserve the funds for purchases which cant deduct immediately/waiting for approval. But sonce they wanna do things diff, they will get whats comong to them. The double billing might happen to be caused by number of transaction processed at the same time. Thier host might happen to fail processing such huge number of transaction at the same time and it ended up malfunctioning...

  • steve.matsane - 2013-01-06 16:53

    I'm still waiting for my money from SAAMBOU BANK.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-06 17:08

      You and me both :)

  • Reggie666 - 2013-01-06 17:00

    Saw a comment on fb about this. Just so you know. Cant remember who it was!

  • Paul Maguba - 2013-01-06 17:03

    eish, these banks from china

  • joe.soapie.73 - 2013-01-06 18:20

    You get your stuff, you pay with your card, it gets verified by the appropriate bank and should then, if approved, make the deduction immediately. I've never understood why is there a delay when swiping your card.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-06 20:07

      Yep, it gets VERIFIED but not necessarily debited. There are different systems in place. In *theory* chip'd cards should reflect the new balance immediately, whereas un-chip'd cards might not. However, I transacted using a chip card in Dec where there were funds but because of some mess-up with the provider, that magic little machine was auto-declining all cards with chips. I eventually paid cash but lo and behold, the transaction was still debited from the DECLINED trans. Luckily I had kept the declined printout and could recoup from the bank what was a fraudulent decline and then on top of that, a fraudulent debit. You'd better watch out, you'd better take care, because for each new "security feature" that banks bombard you with, Santa Claws is coming to take you down.

  • freddie.mostert.3 - 2013-01-06 18:37

    Oh no you don't Capitec! Did the recon, sms and statements! You owe money to me! Savings accounts can not be used as credit cards! Did you slip or did you fall?! You lost my bussiness today, not because of the hick-up, but the sloppy excuses by your management. U O ME!! Nice try!!

  • mondli.khumalo.16 - 2013-01-06 19:12

    It happens with FNB all the time when I purchase petrol and it was my first time experiencing this with capitec

  • mohammed.dinath.18 - 2013-01-06 19:43

    its a load of nonsense from capitech all debit card transactions are live and cannot be delayed xxx someting is wrong at capitech

  • Xolani Jse Made - 2013-01-06 19:44

    They have done very well in marketing the Bank, but they didn't account for the influx of clients an the logistics that come with offering the best possible service...., their. they tendered their lines to nashua mobile......, while Nashua rely on Telcom.... so they always get second best.

  • siwe.mjuluki - 2013-01-06 20:43

    This is big news mysister woke me up at 4 in the morning saying hey your bank stole my money.

  • ntsunyane.frederick - 2013-01-06 21:12

    the same story did happen with my African credit card.I nearly died.

  • xmkungeki - 2013-01-06 22:23

    Had experienced same with Absa...

  • eva.tshoene - 2013-01-06 23:05

    Oooh!!! Come on please mistakes do happen, I'm banking with capitec and I've received the sms this morning. and later i received an sms from capitec apologizing about this whole fiasco as for me I'm going no where capitec its my bank mistake or no. Mistake

      Asdiedamwalbars - 2013-01-07 05:21

      G back to the bank.. This hacking did happened and people was debited twice..

  • Elleck - 2013-01-07 02:01

    I am banking with ABSA the same thing happened to me on the 22 December 2012 I bought petrol for R520 my account was only debited on the 28 December 2012, I was already counting the balance as mine while still to be debited I was also shocked a bit.

  • peter.fraser.92754 - 2013-01-07 04:31

    Dont spend money you dont have.Surely you work with a budget ?

      Asdiedamwalbars - 2013-01-07 05:24

      You're correct.. That was because of working and planned according to a budget..that all these clients realises that they was debited twice on the same transactions on the dates mentioned in the article.

  • Asdiedamwalbars - 2013-01-07 05:09

    It seems that about every customer of Capitec fell prey of the Banks incompetence prevention measures for hacking. The Bank must insure and assure that his customers money will be safe..and in such a case they must refund the money the customers losses because of the lack of the bank ..doing not more than expected and enough preventing hacking. The Bank stay responsible.

  • nyikamn - 2013-01-07 05:13

    Promises promises promises, poor service poor service poor service capitec capitec capitec

  • siyabonga.phungula1 - 2013-01-07 07:51

    guess its back to good old cash, technology is overated anyway. Sometimes you go to a till and find that your transaction is declined when there is money in your account. Its better to just carry cash though there is a risk of being mugged.

  • Sarah Shirinde - 2013-01-07 08:41

    poor service from capitec,i have a loan with them and i m paid on 25 of every month but capitec will go in my account on 21 or 22 etc.i tried to report this matter to their call centre sometimes at the branches with no help.all my bank statement got rejection of which results in other institutions refusing to give me credits.when i finish paying off this loan capitec will never see me again

  • mthimkulu.mhlokonya - 2013-01-07 08:44

    I was at News Cafe before Christmas, and even now their money is stil uncleared, this is the problem i have been having with my Absa account regarding uncleared money that goes out late....better keep yo spending in check or you will overspend.

  • Ryan - 2013-01-07 09:02

    Pay better attention to your accounts is the answer. With my FNB accounts you have an actual balance and an available balance, even if the merchant hasn't taken the actual money yet, my available balance will reflect that it has been withdrawn.

  • zizzy.sipondo - 2013-01-07 09:04

    Well then, this is it for Capitec

  • eloise.botha - 2013-01-07 09:37

    Bull twanngggg, wonder what the real story is?

  • kseyffert - 2013-01-07 10:42

    It sounds like Capitec still have some way to go with their computer systems.

  • ymoolla - 2013-01-07 12:41

    Capitec may have the lowest banking charges etc, but that does NOT make it the best bank in SA. Its a case of, you get what you pay for. I have been with FNB for over 9 years now - while I once had my credit card cloned, I was able to get on the phone and cancel the card in a matter of minutes, have a replacement card sent within 2 days and have the money back in my account by the weekend. The banking industry is tough, and i wouldnt be surprised if something more sinister is going on with Capitec - they could very well have been hacked and are just hiding it. Never really heard about banking PoS machines being "banked late" Good luck getting your monies back in a quick and orderly fashion :)

  • Moepi Phoshoko - 2013-01-07 13:36

    i once exprienced the same problem ever since capitec promised me to get my money back. see me no more capitec u dnt kip promises to ur clients

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