Company takes on ‘fearmongering’ Reserve Bank over warning not to pay via instant EFT

The Reserve Bank claims consumers open themselves to fraud when they pay online retailers via instant EFT. File picture.
Image: Rupixen/Unsplash

The CEO of a digital payments company has taken issue with the SA Reserve Bank’s warning to consumers not to pay online retailers via instant EFT because they are making themselves vulnerable to fraud.

“While there are some dubious companies, as with any industry, millions of consumers transact using the company’s safe instant EFT payment solution,” said Thomas Pays, CEO of Ozow.

“Focusing on obscure risks that are pervasive to the whole system seems to be fearmongering to protect historic revenue at the expense of the consumer value add.”

In statement issued jointly, the Reserve Bank, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority and the Payments Association of SA warned on Thursday, on the eve of Black Friday, that instant EFTs were done by means of a process called screen-scraping, which makes it possible for third parties to access a person’s bank account data and act on their behalf, using their banking access credentials.

“We do not support the use of screen-scraping to effect payments given that screen-scraping puts consumers’ access credentials at risk of being compromised,” they said