It could be that you have bigger fish to fry in this season of shuffling the treasury. Please allow me to veer you off but not very far from issues of money management. Lets talk banking.
Let the messianic Pravin Gordhan take note of this other not so minor financial crisis while in the mood of recoveries.
Mine is a financial crisis of personal nature caused by serious negligence in the management of the country’s banking system.
My bank, Standard Bank, has for the past three years or so allowed some criminals to raid my bank account at will. At the peak of this raid, these criminals were taking close to R1000 a month from my bank account. The heist shaped up via an increasing collection of unauthorised debit orders. There will be a couple of R99 of unauthorised debit orders here and there, some R89 there, R45 and R120 over there and others were as high as R300. These unauthorised debit orders come disguised in a number of ways but all follow ups lead to Durban based operations.
I woke up to this crime for the first time around June 2014 and approached Standard Bank to put a stop to it. They did. But then I went to sleep again for about 12 months to wake up to a bunch of debit orders that were claiming close to R1000 a month on my bank account. This time around I was made aware of the fact that this crime is actually a national crisis. Almost every second person I meet seems to be a victim, making this financial raid a game of billions, and as such worthy of your attention Mr President.
Mongameli; we are talking about fraud that seems to be taking place with the permission of banks, if not cooperation. Media reports suggest that all the country’s retail banks, Standard Bank, Absa, Nedbank, FNB, Capitec and African Bank are touched by scheme.
What is fraud, Nxamalala, if it is not an act that withdraws my money from my bank account without my authorisation and by unknown agents?
Standard Bank must take responsibility
Standard Bank will not take responsibility for the large amounts of monies which have disappeared from my bank account. To add salt to the wound, Sim Tshabalala and Ben Kruger, charge me a fee to tell me who is taking my money from my account without my permission. And after charging me R23 per debit order information, they give me corrupted and useless information. The costs associated with the process I’ve had to endure to try and put a stop to this heist are ludicrous Msholozi.
When I realised that money is disappearing from my bank account, I phoned Standard Bank, for answers. I’ve had many of these telephonic sessions with Standard Bank over the past three years. Each of these telephonic sessions last close to an hour which punches another hole onto my already troubled bank account. That Mr President also speaks to the country’s painfully high telecommunications costs. But that is a conversation for another day.
According to the bank’s call centre agents, Standard Bank does not readily know the identity of the people to whom they have given a master key to my bank account. On every occasion when I phone in, the bank needs 72 hours to dig up the information, name and contact details, of the criminals who are taking my money. And they are charging me R23 per request for that information. At one point I’ve had about 10 of these requests. Do the Math, Mr President!
Almost 50% of the paid for information sent to me, via SMS, by Standard Bank is useless. Many of the telephone numbers I’m given yield the following message: The number you’ve dialled does not exist. As such I must then call Standard Bank again to inform them that the numbers they gave me do not exist. That is another unhelpful 30 minutes on the phone.
The helpless Standard Bank call centre agents have on several occasions told me that the criminals who are taking my money are constantly changing their telephone numbers to make it difficult for victims to pin them down. And these criminals are changing the debit order reference numbers every month to make it impossible for banks to stop the illegal withdrawal of my money once and for all.
When I do manage to get through to some of the numbers given to me by Standard Bank, I find myself speaking to another agent, a debit order facilitation agent. Names of operators I’ve come across in this space include Stratcol, Paysoft, Softco, Paytoza and South African Payment EXC.
These agents are also pleading ignorance. They tell me that they are only intermediaries, facilitating payment between banks and the people who need to be paid via debit order. And so they give me another set of numbers to call which has come to further inflate my phone bill. And so Mr President, now I’m doing another 30 minutes to an hour on the phone for each unauthorised debit order.
The contact numbers given to me by these debit order facilitating agents push me closer to the level of dealing with the number one culprits of this elaborate financial scheme. I get promises of being reimbursed from these operators. But I must first dig up all the reference numbers, which seem to change every month, relating to the unauthorised debit orders. None of these promises have been fulfilled. In being conservative, Mr President, I think that I’m more than R20 000 poorer because of this heist.
Mr President it’s time we flush out these criminals from our would-class banking system.
I’ll await your response with a hope it will come before the 2017 Local Government Elections.
Yours in loss
SP Radebe (Account Number 401790061)
This piece was lifted from our sister publication ujuh.co.za