Keeping your money safe is one of our most important objectives. Here are some of the ways we help protect you and your account information when you are subscribed for internet, mobile and tablet banking. This ensures that no matter where or when you log on, you know you are protected.
Your username and password are two important bits of information required to log into our internet banking platform. However, to complete the login process, you will also need to enter a one-time PIN that will be sent to the mobile phone that you have registered with us.
Our internet banking service is hosted on a secure, 128-bit encrypted server. This means that any information you send us is encoded for your protection.
Internet banking logs you out if you don't use the service for 10 minutes. This gives you added protection if you forget to log yourself out.
We'll automatically disable your access to internet banking if three incorrect attempts are made to log in using your details. This is to stop fraudsters making repeated attempts to get into your accounts. If you don’t use internet banking for more than 60 days, we will automatically deactivate your account to prevent any person from taking over your accounts.
Make sure you install all the latest updates for your internet browser (e.g. Internet Explorer) and operating system (e.g. Windows 10). You should be reminded of available updates when they’re ready automatically (unless you’ve manually turned this function off). Keeping your browser and operating system up to date will ensure that these things are safeguarded and performing as well as possible.
- You should have internet security software and a firewall installed on your computer, and you should also ensure you install any updates from the providers. Make sure you run a full scan of your computer regularly with your security software.
- Install the latest updates for any third-party products (e.g. non-Microsoft if you use a Windows operating system) you use. These updates sometimes include security fixes.
- Use strong passwords. A strong password should contain a mix of letters (upper and lowercase) and numbers. Try to avoid using anything obvious like your name, username or birth date. And change your passwords regularly.
- Only download files or programmes from the internet if they are from genuine, trusted websites or senders.
- Make sure you install anti-malware software on your web-enabled phone.
- Keep your cards, passwords, PINs, documents and personal information secure to protect you from identity theft, online fraud, card fraud and more. See our guide to identity fraud to learn more about how you can keep these details safe.
- Do not respond to unsolicited communications that ask for your personal details. Although these phone calls, letters, emails or texts can look or sound legitimate, it’s highly likely that they’re fraudulent. Don’t respond to these kinds of communications until you’ve contacted the company concerned to ensure that they’re genuine.
Never download software, open attachments or follow links that you're sent by email unless you're sure they're safe. If in doubt, delete the email immediately. Fraudsters will commonly send unsolicited email with attachments or links that will ultimately install malware (malicious software) on your computer unbeknown to you. Be aware that these emails can be sent from people you know! Fraudsters can sometimes take over the email accounts of people you trust and send out emails containing malware to everyone in their address books. If you're suspicious of anything coming from your contacts, ask them if it's legitimate before proceeding to open any attachments or follow any links.
- These scams are variations of the same type of fraud: the victim is asked to make a payment in return for receiving a substantial amount of money.
- In both types of scam, the fraudster will claim the money is available but a payment is needed to help cover transfer or administrative costs.
- Treat any such requests for money with suspicion. Be aware that these requests can be made by phone, email, letter or even in person. They can look and sound legitimate. Don’t respond to any unsolicited communications promising prize money in return for payment.
With the convenience of cellphone banking comes the responsibility of ensuring the security of your account:
- Don’t store your password or pin in clear text on your mobile device.
- Install antivirus software on your mobile device and scan your device regularly.
- Be wary that a 'jailbroken' device will weaken the security of your mobile device. The Absa App will not work on a jailbroken device.
- Enable the lock screen on your phone. A password or pin is always more secure than other lock-screen options.
- Turn off your wifi or data connections, when not in use.
- Use the latest software version.
- Be as vigilant on your smartphone or tablet as you would be on your computer.
- Don’t leave your tablet or mobile device unattended while you have your banking profile open.
- If your tablet or cellphone is stolen, remember to unlink it from your device access (this can be done on internet banking under your profile).
- Be careful when using public wifi or hotspots to do your banking.
Always remember to log out once you have finished banking.
Make sure you bank safely on your mobile device. We all use apps on the go — and with our app, it just became so much easier to get your banking done in those 'in-between' moments.
Keep these handy safety tips in mind when using an app:
- Read through the terms of the app and make sure that you understand the risks.
- Check what permissions the app is requesting.
- Download only apps from the authentic Apple App, Google Play, Windows App or Blackberry World stores.
If you doubt the legitimacy of the banking app, contact the bank on 5950.
We will not ask you to confirm the following telephonically:
- Credit card expiry date
- 3-digit number on the back of the card
- Secure code/OTP number
- Your PIN (you will only be required to use your PIN or OTP number when transacting)
When we contact you, we will have your card number and you will only need to confirm a few digits.
If you receive a secure code/OTP and you are not transacting, please contact our Customer Service Line on +260 (211) 366100.
Tips to avoid cheque fraud
Be especially vigilant when it comes to suspicious cheque deposits into your account, and take note of the following:
- Report lost, stolen or missing cheques immediately.
- Contact the Absa Customer Service on +260 (211) 366100 as soon as you suspect fraudulent activity on your account.
- When filling out a cheque, never leave space in front of the name of the payee or the amount in figures. Draw a line through all unused spaces.
- Keep your chequebook in a safe place.
- Don’t sign blank cheques.
- Reconcile your bank statements regularly.
- To ensure that a cheque is paid into the intended beneficiary's account, the cheque must be marked with the words ‘Not Transferable’ between two transverse lines at the top of the cheque.
- Always keep your chequebook separate from your credit cards, ATM cards or any document that bears your signature.
- If you have to post a cheque, place it in a non-transparent or dark envelope without any staples/paper clips.
- Other payment methods are safe and convenient and can save on bank charges. These include internet banking, mobile banking, telephone banking, ATM payments, debit orders and future-dated payments.
- If you sell something, never release goods until the payment has cleared into your account.
- Never accept a faxed bank deposit slip as proof of payment. Details can easily be changed to reflect a higher value or to state that the deposit was made in cash.
When receiving cheques, be aware of the following:
- There should be no variation in the handwriting.
- The same pen should be used to complete the entire cheque.
- There should be no visible alterations.
Have you been asked to change the bank details for a client or supplier? This may be an attempt to defraud you.
Change-of-bank-account-details scam is clients receive requests, purporting to be from genuine clients or suppliers, asking them to change the bank details used for electronic payments.
These perpetrators go to the extent of diverting correspondence from the targeted business to verify the notification to one of them, who will then validate the instruction. Always make sure that it is indeed your supplier that you are communicating with.
If you believe you are a victim of this type of fraud, report it immediately to your relationship executive. Use the Absa Customer Service contact centre on +260 (211) 366100 or visit the nearest police station.
Some recommendations to reduce the risks:
- The counterfeit invoice and covering letter may be printed on a scanned copy of the company’s letterhead and the logo may appear somewhat blurred.
- False confirming emails may be sent from almost identical email addresses, or addresses that differ from the genuine one by perhaps one letter that can be easily missed.
- Always confirm any request to change bank details with your usual contact.
- Instruct staff responsible for paying invoices to check invoices for irregularities and escalate suspicions to a known contact.
- Consider setting up designated single points of contact with companies to which you make regular payments.
- Shred your business and supplier invoices or any communication material that may contain letterheads.
- Don’t publish your bank account details on the internet, as this is company private information that can be used fraudulently.
- Consider reviewing previous requests to change account details to confirm they were genuine.
- To prevent your clients from acting on an instruction purporting to be from you, alert them to this type of fraud.
Minimise your risk of theft while travelling internationally:
When you travel internationally, you will need money to make purchases. To minimise your risk of your money being stolen, you should spread the risk across a Cash Passport, cash, and your credit card (if you have one).
Always bear the following safety tips in mind when travelling internationally:
- Carry any cash or credit cards as close to your body as possible. Popular options include a travel belt or a neck pouch.
- Be aware of scams where people ask you for money or assistance in order to see where you keep your wallet or purse.
- Keep the bulk of your money, together with vital documents, such as your passport and visa, in your hotel safe when you sightsee.
Spending options - Cash, Cash Passport, credit cards:
A Cash Passport is the perfect option for point-of-sale devices and cash withdrawals while abroad. It is pre-loaded with an amount of your choice (which can be added to at any stage), and is accepted worldwide at shops and ATMs displaying the Visa Electron sign. Cash is ideal for immediate purchases (such as drinks and food at the departure and arrival airports), as credit cards are not always accepted and are preferred for larger transactions.
Stay in touch with Absa while you travel:
To stay in touch with Absa and to keep an eye on your accounts back home and transact when needed, we advise you to register for mobile banking.
- Carry as little cash as possible.
- Pay your accounts electronically.
- Make use of mobile banking.
- Make use of internet transfers or ATMs.
- Alternate the days and times you deposit cash.
- Never make your bank visits public.
- Don’t openly display your money in the bank queue.
- Avoid carrying money bags or openly displaying deposit receipt books.
- Visit different branches to ensure your banking pattern is not recognisable.
- Consider a cash management service.
- Don’t pay wages in view of the public.
- Don’t use a company-branded vehicle to go to the bank.
- Use an electronic alternative to pay wages.
- Don’t make cash deposits on high-risk days.
- Let someone accompany you when you deposit.
- Let members deposit funds directly into the account.
- Arrange electronic pay-out to members’ accounts.
Online shopping is quick, easy, and convenient - however, there are still some safety factors that need to be considered when using your credit card to make purchases online:
- Only place an order with your credit card on trusted websites that are verified as secure sites (look for the lock image on the toolbar).
- On the web page where you enter your credit card or other personal information, look for an 's' after ‘http://’ in the web address of that page — it should read: ‘https://’. The encryption is a security measure that scrambles your data as it is entered.
- Ensure that the website is authentic and secure by finding out what other shoppers say. Some websites such as epinions.com and bizrate.com have customer evaluations, which can help you determine a company's legitimacy.
- Do not send emails that contain personal information such as your card number and expiry date.
- Use good quality antivirus software.
When you do your banking at any of our Absa ATMs, always ensure that you remain alert and vigilant so that you don’t become a victim of fraud or crime.
ATM safety tips:
- Choose a PIN that’s difficult to guess.
- Memorise your PIN so that you don’t have it written down anywhere.
- Approach an ATM only under the right conditions and always be aware of your surroundings.
- Check the area for suspicious-looking people before you approach the ATM.
- If you think the ATM is not working, cancel the transaction immediately.
- When you enter your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand so that no one else sees your PIN.
- Always concentrate and keep your eyes on the screen when you are at an ATM.
- If you need help, don’t ask anyone other than an Absa bank official.
- Always be cautious of strangers who offer to help you at the ATM.
- You shouldn’t use an ATM if it looks like the card slot, keypad or screen has been tampered with.
- Ensure you get your card back every time you use it and check that it is your card.
- If your card is lost or stolen, or it is retained or jammed, or somebody interferes with you while using an ATM, you should immediately call Absa Customer Service Contact Centre on +260 (211) 366100 to report it and cancel your card.