Be money smart this festive season

2015-12-17 06:00
PHOTO: supplied Sabric CEO Kalyani Pillay says consumers should be on the look out for ATM fraud during this festive season.

PHOTO: supplied Sabric CEO Kalyani Pillay says consumers should be on the look out for ATM fraud during this festive season.

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THE festive season is a time when people spend their hard-earned money and the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric­) has warned people to avoid carrying large sums of money, but instead opt for cellphone or internet banking or ATM transfers.

Sabric CEO, Kalyani Pillay, said with ATM fraud being rife during this period, people should also look out for strangers trying to assist at ATMs as they could be on a mission to defraud unsuspecting people.

“People should set a reasonable daily withdrawal limit to protect themselves in the event that cards and their Pins are compromised. ey should always cover the hand that is typing the Pin when using bank cards. If you use online banking, it is important to register for 3D secure before using your bank card online. If the screen layout is not familiar to you, do not insert your card, and if it happens that your card is retained by an ATM
machine, do not leave until you have cancelled it by calling the bank’s call centre using your cellphone.”

The KwaZulu-Natal Financial Literacy Association (KZNFLA) has warned people to avoid impulsive spending during the Christmas season and start being responsible with their income.

Babalwa Luphondo from KZNFLA said they encourage consumers to buy affordable goods and avoid overspending as it could result in getting into debt.

“Each time the festive season starts, a large number of consumers spend most of their money on things they don’t necessarily need. Some people seem to forget that January is around the corner.

“They need to save for obligations that come in the first month of the year, which could be school fees, uniforms, transport fares for children, car and bond instalments,” said Luphondo.

• Consumers must be disciplined and stick to their budgets. If a holiday was not part of the budget, they should stay at home and spend time with their families.

• Consumers are encouraged to clearly differentiate between needs and wants.

• Buy things in cash and avoid taking clothes and other things that are not needed using their credit card.

• Use your bonus wisely. Save and invest some money. Use a certain portion to cover or reduce debts.

• If you go out for lunch or dinner with friends, it is wise to split the bill.

• Don’t carry large amounts of cash.

• Consider paying accounts electronically.

• Never make your bank visits public, even to people close to you.

• It’s advisable to identify another branch nearby that you can visit to ensure your banking pattern is not recognisable or detected .

• Don’t accept assistance, even from a security guard, when using an ATM, rather go into your bank for assistance if needed.

• Stokvel clubs should arrange for payouts to be electronically transferred into members’ personal account or accounts of their choice

• Small businesses should alternate the days and times on which they deposit cash.

– Supplied.

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