New SA banking regs cause panic

The latest move by South Africa to combat rampant crime has sent some Zimbabwean nationals here panicking and closing the bank accounts they improperly opened.

This week, the South African government and financial firms launched an Online Verification System, which would make it impossible to make a transaction without providing a fingerprint. This will have a far-reaching impact on some Zimbabwean nationals who improperly opened their accounts.

Some banks do not accept foreign documents such as passport or an asylum permit. This forced people to pay locals or fellow countrymen who hold fraudulently acquired local documents to open accounts on their behalf. They then operate the account using the bank card. But this will now be impossible.

“I have withdrawn all the money in my account as the new system would make it impossible to get my money in future. The account I have been using was opened by a neighbour to whom I paid R100 for the service,” said Stella Nkomo.

Regis Moyo said he had also withdrawn all his money and notified his employer not to deposit any cash in the account he has been using for the past six years.

The new regulations are aimed at fostering co-operation between Home Affairs and the banking industry in combating bank-related identity fraud and corruption.

The system will see cooperation between Home Affairs and the banks in the identification of people and verification of their particulars.

“Thousands of foreign nationals have been using the accounts that locals opened for them. These will no longer be doing any transactions with the banks – who will lose out on revenue as a result,” said a Johannesburg-based analyst.

Post published in: Business

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