The national lockdown which commenced today has led to many shops and industries closing their shops or slowed down but how has the banking industry been effected.
Photo: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
The national lockdown which commenced today has led to many shops and industries closing their shops or slowed down but how has the banking industry been effected. Photo: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

SA's major banks encourage customers to use digital platforms during the lockdown

By Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Mar 28, 2020

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DURBAN - The national lockdown which commenced today has led to many shops and industries closing their shops or slowed down but how has the banking industry been effected.

Will be banks be operational, are bank branches open, can I withdraw cash from the ATM are just some of the questions of the minds of consumers. Here are the answers to these questions from some of South Africa's banks. 

Capitec

During the national lockdown, selected Capitec branches will be open to help with any essential banking needs, but the bank has reduced their hours and the number of consultants. Capitec's website will specify which branches remain open and advise on operating hours

The bank is encouraging their clients to activate the Capitec banking app on their phone or use USSDs so that they are able to pay bills, transfer money, purchase airtime or electricity, email bank statements and manage debit orders from their home 24/7.

Capitec will continue to handle credit stress queries on a case-by-case basis, using existing policies and procedures. The banks urges all clients whose financial situation has been affected by the coronavirus crisis to contact their customer service team.

Standard Bank

Standard Bank will remain fully operational through the national lockdown and that all banking services will remain available.

The bank has implemented robust business-continuity measures and has ensured that its systems will be supported, maintained and continuously improved throughout the lockdown period.

Point-of-sale services will remain functional for essential businesses including supermarket retailers, and call centres will remain operational and ready to attend to customer queries. Standard Bank will also be open for SASSA grant recipients throughout this period.

While branches will remain open and ATMs operational, we encourage all customers to use digital channels wherever possible to transact.

"We aim to uphold high service standards during the lockdown. We are ready to serve our customers, employees and local communities as we help the country through this crisis together," said Standard Bank. 

Absa

Absa will be taking all possible steps to assist customers in financial distress and have heightened their call centre, during these unprecedented times for customers to reach out to the bank directly should they be in financial difficulty. All cases are considered individually, depending on the specific customer details. 

Absa has the ability to craft personalised credit solutions, based on a customer’s unique circumstances. The solution would largely be influenced by the customer’s situation. Most importantly at this point in time is that customers should approach the bank as soon as they encounter financial difficulty.

"We are working closely with industry peers and regulators to ensure access to critical banking services across all nine provinces so that cash and key transactional services are always available. This means many of our branches and contact centers will be open, and ATMs will continue with normal service," said Absa. 

The bank has urged customers to make use of their digital platforms, including the Absa Mobile Banking App and Absa Online during this time, or to use credit cards when transacting remotely. 

African Bank

African Bank will be working quickly to ensure that all essential banking services will continue unhindered for customers, as well as evaluating how customers in need can be supported during the period.

Basani Maluleke, Chief Executive of African Bank.Maluleke confirmed that the bank is maintaining the functioning of its contact centres, which have been re-arranged to enable social distancing practices to protect the health of its people. Customers are encouraged to engage with the bank through its contact centres, the app and/or online.

"We encourage all customers who are experiencing financial strain during this period, to contact us to discuss payment arrangements that meet their needs. Changes to payment arrangements are considered on a case-by-case basis," said Maluleke.

If loan customers are retrenched, receive short time or are placed on compulsory unpaid leave, African Bank can cover their monthly payments for up to 12 months through their credit life insurance policies.  

FNB

FNB can confirm that its banking services will continue to be available to customers during the 21-day national lockdown.

FNB will be monitoring its ATMs to ensure that they operate normally to minimise any inconvenience to customers. In instances where the ATMs are out of cash due to demand, FNB has measures in place to ensure that those are replenished timeously.

"As part of industry, we are committed to supporting our customers by facilitating access to banking services in a safe and convenient manner," said FNB.

While FNB ATMs and branches are available to customers during lockdown, the bank also encourages customers to maximise the convenience of its App and Online banking.

FNB said, "As part of industry, we are committed to supporting our customers by facilitating access to banking services in a safe and convenient manner. Furthermore, we will continue to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of our staff". 

Over the course of the 21-day national lockdown, FNB branches will be operating during the following hours:

Monday – Friday: 9h00 – 15h30

Saturday: 9h00 – 11h00

Sunday: Closed

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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