Numerous FNB customers are complaining that their credit cards have been blocked on Sunday without prior warning.
Reports of the issue were widespread on Twitter and FNB’s Downdetector page, which saw a big spike in complaints from around 13:00.
Customers reported that attempting to transact with their credit card would result in the payment being declined and the following text message being sent to them:
Outstanding documents are required to comply with FICA. Please call the number on the back of your card.
Multiple Twitter users claimed this notification appeared to be coming out of the blue, as they had not been asked to provide FICA documents before Sunday.
“Went shopping only to find out my CC [credit card] transactions are being declined pending FICA documents! What FICA documents? I was never asked for FICA documents! Absolutely ridiculous,” one Twitter user said.
“Credit card transactions declined. The card was working fine yesterday,” another customer stated.
“Both myself and my wife’s cards declining apparently due to outstanding FICA documents. No communication from FNB. We have no access to our money. Can’t pay for fuel or food,” a third user stated.
The problem appeared to be impacting both in-person and online transactions.
One MyBroadband reader was also experiencing the issue, with his credit card account showing R0 available despite not having reached its limit.
According to Downdetector’s outage map, the majority of reports were coming from Gauteng, Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth.
On Monday, FNB confirmed to MyBroadband that the issue has been resolved.
“The bank sincerely apologises to impacted customers for the inconvenience caused,” Labuschagne said.
It did not elaborate further as to what caused the glitch.
On Tuesday it emerged that FNB accidentally gave a number of its clients free money. The extra funds ranged from a few hundred rand to over R3 000.
FNB said that this was due to an error which is being rectified. Recipients of the extra funds will be required to pay it back, as unjustifiable enrichment can be reversed, an attorney told Business Insider South Africa.
The error appears to be due to delayed debit card transactions. FNB says that they have been in contact with clients who received the extra funds.
Retrieving the additional funds will not necessarily be an easy task, as the bank may find it difficult to extract the money from clients who have already spent it.
FNB has not revealed how much extra money was accidentally given away in total, nor how many people in total received money.
BankservAfrica’s monthly Economic Transaction Index (Beti), a broad indicator of the country’s economic health, showed that transactions declined by 0.4% from February to March.
“The March Beti declined across all measurement periods,” says Shergeran Naidoo, BankservAfrica’s head of stakeholder engagements, in a statement. Naidoo said the numbers are a clear indication of the “deteriorating state of the economy”.
According to a recent article in MoneyWeb, Eskom’s load shedding in March hit the economy hard. Individual transactions increased in value but decreased in number during this period.
The standardised nominal value of the Beti was R875.7-billion while the average value per transaction was R8 444. This is the first nominal rise in 23 months, said Naidoo. This rise, however, is due to VAT refunds paid in March.
“Without the nearly R20-billion worth of VAT repayments paid into the National Payments System, the March Beti would have been worse off.”
According to an article by Business Tech, online sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 exceeded figures for 2017.
BankservAfrica provided Business Tech with the following figures on one of the biggest shopping days of the year:
- A total of 581 189 online transactions were processed over the weekend
- 404 594 online transactions were recorded on Black Friday
- The single most expensive transaction for Black Friday was over R6-million
- The single most expensive transaction for Cyber Monday was R5-million
- Black Friday shopping peaked between 08h00 and 09h00
- Cyber Monday shopping peaked between 10h00 and 11h00
- The average number of transactions per minute peaked at 695 on Black Friday
- Transactions averaged at 281 per minute on Black Friday
- The average number of transactions per minute peaked at 277 on Cyber Monday
- Transactions averaged at 1251 per minute on Cyber Monday
- Black Friday saw 55% year-on-year growth in online transactions
- Cyber Monday transactions were up 36% year-on-year
The United States, where the trend originated, also saw some big numbers:
- Cyber Monday sales surged to a record $7.9-billion spent online
- This is a year-on-year increase of 19.3%
- Black Friday pulled in a record $6.22-billion in e-commerce sales
- Transactions on mobile devices were up 55.6% on Cyber Monday, generating $2.2-billion in sales
- Cyber Monday marked the biggest shopping day in Amazon’s history
- Amazon Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined saw the purchase 18-million toys and more than 13-million fashion items
Source: The Citizen
FNB has become the first bank in South Africa to offer consumers an innovation that allows them to tap bank cards and enter a personal identification number (PIN) to perform a transaction without inserting the cards into automated teller machines (ATMs).
The bank estimates that the “Tap and PIN” function will reduce the time it takes to make a withdrawal by up to 20 seconds and protect its customers against card skimming devices. The functionality is currently available across 100 FNB ATMs and the bank said more would be upgraded during 2019.
The new product is a major step in the bank’s plans to continuously improve the convenience and safety of its banking ecosystem, said FNB Retail chief executive Raj Makanjee.
“In the last three years, consumers have processed approximately R1 billion worth of contactless payments from 5 million transactions on FNB issued credit and debit cards alone,” Makanjee said.
“The frequency of use by consumers has grown by between 100% and 300% on our credit and debit cards respectively, highlighting the confidence of our customers in adopting new and secure payment methods. Having started issuing contactless cards three years ago, we now have over 8.5 million contactless-enabled debit and credit cards in the hands of consumers.”
Makanjee said contactless payments offered substantial benefits in an era where consumers and retailers wanted to avoid long queues.
“South African consumers are driving a mobile payment revolution enabled by a slew of innovative home grown technology companies. Local retailers, brands and agencies are leveraging the power of mobile payments in clever ways to unlock new revenue streams and boost customer retention.”