How safe is your bank card?

2013-10-27 14:00

When you leave home, you make sure your home is locked. The same applies to your car. But how much care do you take to protect your bank card – a single access point to your money? Neesa Moodley-Isaacs reports

A recent announcement by the Payments Association of SA (Pasa) regarding a security breach related to bank cards used at restaurant chains and franchises should have placed you on high alert.

Walter Volker, the chief executive of Pasa, says card details across all major banks were accessed by an unauthorised international organisation through custom-written virus software.

“The industry has taken immediate and proactive steps to identify the extent of the potential exposure, clean up confirmed sites with effective custom antimalware software and carefully monitor transactions on the cards involved in order to detect possible unusual activity,” he said.

Volker pointed out that all issuing and acquiring banks in SA have very well-developed and sophisticated fraud and risk management systems in place, and that monitoring of any heightened levels of potential fraud that might result from this would be a normal activity with no need for additional systems.

Rene de Villiers, the head of risk at Nedbank’s card division, confirmed that the number of incidents reported is limited and where fraud losses have been reported, clients have already been refunded and reissued with new cards.

Ross Linstrom, the spokesperson for Standard Bank, also confirmed that some Standard Bank debit, credit and cheque card customers have been affected.

“All Standard Bank cards that may have been impacted have already been placed under a heightened level of monitoring to detect possible unusual or fraudulent activity. Should fraudulent transactions occur on any of these cards, cardholders will not be exposed to any losses and Standard Bank will replace the cards of affected customers,” he said.

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