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FNB ups security for digital transactions

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With Black Friday a few days away, First National Bank (FNB) has rolled out online secure authentication for merchants and individual customers.

This move, says FNB, is to provide an additional layer of security for digital transactions amid the rise of cyber crime, which it notes hinders the growth and potential of e-commerce activities in SA.

Online secure, widely known as 3D secure, is a protocol designed to be an additional security layer for online credit and debit card transactions.

In line with industry requirements, FNB says it has upgraded all merchants and card-holders to online secure authentication, effectively meaning customers will now have to authenticate themselves when making online purchases.

According to the bank, customers previously received a one-time PIN (OTP) via SMS or e-mail when they performed an online purchase. However, all customers will now receive a push notification on their phone on their verified FNB app to authenticate the purchase.

If the customer does not have the FNB app or does not respond to the FNB app push message to approve their online purchase, they will receive the OTP via SMS, app messaging and by logging onto online banking messaging.

Receiving OTPs via e-mail is being discontinued in line with the bank’s strategy to discontinue communication via this format for safety measures, it states.

“The enhanced security features will go a long way in protecting our customers from potential fraud, more so now that we’ve seen a big migration from our customers to digital channels,” says Chris Labuschagne, CEO of FNB Card. “The impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown restrictions have encouraged customers to consider convenient and safer ways to manage their lives. In line with our commitment to customer-centricity, we want to ensure our customers can rely on our trusted platform when making purchases.”

FNB states that where it is satisfied the online purchase is secure, customers will not be required to approve their purchase. This will result in fast secure authentication, especially during busy periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

In addition, the bank allows customers to update their online secure contact details via the FNB app. Updating of online secure via online banking and call centre will also be discontinued.

Labuschagne adds: “We encourage customers to opt for convenient and safer ways to shop during Black Friday in line with COVID-19 safety guidelines. More importantly, many local retailers have begun offering Black Friday specials much earlier than usual to improve the shopping experience for consumers.

“We also encourage customers to use trusted platforms when shopping online and remind everyone to always keep information such as PINs and passwords safe and to only authenticate transactions they have initiated.”

The bank indicates the security updates will further enable customers to complete transactions when shopping online through payment methods such as digital wallets, QR code and mobile payments.

“Online secure will protect cardholders against unauthorised use of their FNB cards for online purchases, while also protecting e-commerce businesses against financial losses resulting from online fraud,” concludes Giuseppe Virgillito, head of digital channels at FNB.

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