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Absa and Fuel Cards, Fleet Cards and Safety from Fraud

Absa and Fuel Cards, Fleet Cards and Safety from FraudAbsa: General Comments

Absa views financial crime in a very serious light and takes a zero-tolerance approach to all matters involving criminal conduct.

We invest heavily in a comprehensive and robust suite of information protection measures and work closely with law enforcement agencies and banking industry peers to combat fraud and other forms of financial crime.

There are several types of card fraud, including Card Skimming, Cyber Crime and PIN theft, which involves your PIN and/or banking details being compromised during ATM or Point of Sale transactions.

Card skimming involves the illegal copying of encoded information from the magnetic strip of a legitimate card by means of a card reader, and this could occur either at ATMs or points of sales (POS).

Safety Advice

When using a POS device, we encourage card users to key in their PIN in such a way that no one else can see it – such as covering the keypad with their free hand when punching the numbers in.

When using a garage/fleet card for fuel purchases, remember the following safety tips:

  • Treat your credit card like cash by just carrying the cards you need and never leaving your cards unattended.
  • Destroy expired fuel/fleet cards by cutting them up.
  • Sign new cards, with a ballpoint pen, immediately on receipt.
  • Report lost or stolen cards immediately.
  • Do not use your birth date or birth year as a PIN number, as criminals may have access to this information after stealing your bag or wallet.
  • Do not save your PIN number on your cell phone.
  • Be careful when giving your personal and credit card information to third parties.
  • When giving your card to a merchant to swipe, check the details on the card to ensure that they have given back the correct card.
  • When using a debit or credit card at any point of sale outlet or restaurant, never allow your card to leave your sight.

Response from a Garage Card Perspective

Response from a Garage Card Perspective (issued to an individual Absa retail customer)

1. What are the best measures from the side of the bank to combat fraud with a garage/ petrol card?

See answers to question 3.

2. How does the “Cloning” of garage cards take place?

Cloning is the act of making a copy of the data on the magnetic stripe of your card. It is typically done by swiping the card through any device capable of reading a card magnetic stripe and modified to store such data. The data is then transferred onto the magnetic stripe of a different plastic and presented for payment by the fraudster.

3. Would the bank have a system in place to detect suspicious activities on the garage card?

Absa utilises a world-class fraud early detection system that monitors all debit, credit and garage card transactions. The system uses a sophisticated blend of neural modelling and rules written by analysts to detect unusual and possibly fraudulent transactions. When such transactions are detected, the client will be contacted to verify the transaction.

4. What would be deemed as suspicious transactions?

See the answer to point 3. We cannot give specific examples as that would inform fraudsters on what behaviour to avoid but we can give assurance that the early detection processes are very efficient and there is a very high success rate in the detection of illicit behaviour.

5. Is there a limit to the monetary value or the number of daily transactions on a petrol card? Can the client request such a limit?

Yes – but limits are variable according to the selected product.

6. Does the petrol card have an SMS functionality to alert a client once a transaction has taken place – Can the client request this to be included?

Yes – If the customer selected/activated this functionality.

7. Does the Petrol card require a pin code to be entered? Is it something a client can request?

No, at this stage no PIN is required for a garage card transaction.

8. When would a client be deemed to have been negligent with his petrol card?

This determination is made on a case-by-case basis.

9. What suggestions do you offer to clients in protecting them from fraudulent transactions?

The best advice is to ensure that the card never leaves your sight and that cards are stored securely. If cards are lost or stolen, report it to the bank as soon as possible.

Response from a Fleet Card Perspective

Response from a Fleet Card Perspective

1. What are the best measures from the side of the bank to combat fraud with a FLEET (garage/ petrol) CARD?

To ensure that customers and drivers using fleet cards are educated around the guidelines on fleet card use. The fleet card is allocated to a specific vehicle and it is imperative that this card is used for this particular vehicle only, as there is data collected around efficiency (i.e. cents per km) and allocation of costs.

The Bank activates the tank capacity on the card, which is linked to the vehicle type ensuring that there is no overfilling and managing the customers overall cost management.

This will also eliminate authorised usage through multiple uses. Furthermore, the Bank has an effective fraud management system in place to monitor exceptions on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Continuous driver, company and forecourt attendant training is provided by the ban.

2. How does the “Cloning” of FLEET CARDS take place?

Cloning of garage cards takes place on skimming devices at a number of touch points, but we have seen a frequency at both fuel stations and toll plazas.

When a card is swiped, the data is removed out of the mag stripe enabling the fraudster to clone the card and use multiple times.

3. Would the bank have a system in place to detect suspicious activities on the FLEET CARD?

Fraud analytic systems are in place to detect irregular and suspicious transactions on the fleet card.

Detection is based on irregular patterns, which are mapped to refuelling behaviours, such as average spend per month, geographical location and excessive refuelling per day.

A number of permutations are monitored on a daily basis and customers are contacted on irregularities.

4. What would be deemed as suspicious transactions?

Any transaction that differs from established refuelling behaviour as illustrated above

5. Is there a limit to the monetary value or the number of daily transactions on a FLEET CARD? Can the client request such a limit?

Yes, the client has the option to indicate the number of allowed fuel refills a day, cap on tank capacity allowed and the monetary value per day of the transaction.

6. Does the FLEET CARD have an SMS functionality to alert a client once a transaction has taken place – Can the client request this to be included?

The SMS functionality is currently not available for now, however, the client has the ability to check transactions on the online reporting system

7. Does the FLEET CARD require a pin code to be entered? Is it something a client can request? (Note response is specifically on a fleet card and not garage card)

The card is not chip and pin enabled and is not available to the customer.

8. When would a client be deemed to have been negligent with his FLEET CARD?

If the client doesn’t adhere to the terms and condition of fleet card agreement as well as the information provided (i.e. driver guidelines).

9. What suggestions do you offer to clients in protecting them from fraudulent transactions?

  • Fleet managers and clients need to access the fleet online system on a regular basis, be aware of the exception emails being sent as well as calls from the fraud department to the customer.
  • Ensure that the fleet card users are educated i.e. using the correct fuel card
  • Request card users to be alert and observe how the card is handled when making fuel payment. This will assist in detecting if the card is not being cloned
  • The card must be stored in a secured area

A word of Appreciation for the kind assistance from the following people

Retail Garage cards: Geoff Lee, Head of Absa Card

Fleet Cards: Nelisiwe Baloyi: Head of Absa Vehicle and Asset Finance (AVAF)

Also view:

Fuel Cards, Garage Cards, Fleet Cards and Safety from Fraud and Corruption

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