Standard Bank and Nedbank have finally offered their opinions on online personal financial management (PFM) start-up 22seven, which has been garnering an enormous amount of attention and controversy from banks and consumers alike since launching on Thursday.
Absa and First National Bank have both weighed in with the former being quick to slam the service and the latter warning of the dangers of sharing login information, without naming 22seven specifically.
Now Standard Bank says that it does not support the disclosure of any logon credentials to third parties. “In the event that a third party is allowed to store or intercept the client’s banking logon credentials, the security of the client’s account cannot be guaranteed.”
Much like FNB, Standard Bank says that each fraud case reported to the bank “is investigated on its own merit” and that “clients have agreed to use their account in accordance with the terms of the banking agreement and the contravention of the terms stated therein will determine whether or not the client will be held liable.”
The bank says it was not approached or consulted by 22seven prior to the service’s launch and asks its clients to “ensure they take the responsibility for their accounts and recommends they do not use websites where they are asked to provide their login credentials, thereby putting their accounts at risk.”
Nedbank, meanwhile, acknowledges the appeal of PFM services but cautions customers against using any service they don’t entirely trust.
Anton de Wet, managing executive of personal banking and client value management at Nedbank, says the use of third-party PFM tools is a “rising trend globally and in SA and shows that people wish to be able to access their information easily and take greater ownership in managing their financial affairs”.
“People making use of any PFM offering need to be aware of the risks associated with disclosing their personal credentials to others and [must] use service providers they trust”.
Absa said earlier on Friday that if customers provide 22seven with their logon credentials, it technically absolves the bank from reimbursing customers should they be defrauded as it is in contravention of the banks guidelines and customers’ contractual obligations.
FNB, meanwhile, has said that all instances of fraud are considered individually and while it spoke to the dangers of allowing third parties access to one’s Internet banking it didn’t talk about 22seven specifically. — Craig Wilson, TechCentral
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