FNB mistakenly blocks company’s online payments for suspected fraud

A South African business recently contacted MyBroadband because their online payments functionality for their FNB account had been blocked.

The business said that this was attributed to “increased fraud during the COVID-19 period.”

This was strange to the business because it had been paying the same client on a bi-weekly basis for years, meaning it was a surprise that this would suddenly be prevented by FNB’s anti-fraud systems.

The company said the only way they could make online payments was through EFT or by using payment gateway providers that don’t require 3D Secure.

This was causing severe risk and inconvenience for the business, and MyBroadband contacted FNB to investigate the matter further.

FNB responds

FNB confirmed that it monitors excessive funds which leave a bank account in a short space of time to a few card merchants.

“This resulted in the bank implementing internal processes to safeguard the client’s funds in the event that this was due to fraudulent behaviour, whilst the matter was being investigated,” said FNB.

“Some of the measures in place included limiting payments to the flagged merchants, and stopping clients’ forex spend, where the amounts sent out were unreasonable or excessive based on the clients’ profile,” FNB added.

It is worth noting that the reader first suffered the problem on 7 October and MyBroadband received FNB’s response on 28 October, with the issue still being present at this time.

FNB also noted that businesses should contact their bankers in the event that their payments are blocked, as this means that FNB can provide the necessary assistance.

How FNB fights against fraud

FNB said that fraud is a major problem in South Africa and it has been exacerbated given the national lockdown.

“Fraud is a global scourge and the effects on the country, economy, financial systems and equally important – our valued customers – are profound,” said FNB.

“COVID-19 has exacerbated these fraud woes.”

It said that it is taking a variety of measures to ensure its customers are educated about the risks of fraud and how to identify these situations.

“Aside from FNB playing its part in actively monitoring, identifying and investigating spurious transactions, we are creating awareness amongst our customers on the latest and emerging fraud trends which will aid customers in proactively identifying potential fraudulent activities or transactions and bringing those to the attention of the Bank,” said FNB.

“As a united force, we can help mitigate and reduce the levels of fraud by proactive identification and treatment.”

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FNB mistakenly blocks company’s online payments for suspected fraud