Perceived duplication of Debit Card transactions

This article is an excerpt from a letter released by the Payments Association of South Africa

View original letter

As more customers elect to use payment cards as the preferred method of transacting, occasional operational matters may arise from time to time. One such matter is when card transactions fail to be completed, due to various reasons, resulting in incomplete transactions.

Cardholders often receive an SMS from their bank to advise the authorisation of a particular purchase without the merchant/retailer receiving confirmation of the authorisation. The merchant/retailer is then required to do another transaction, resulting in the perceived duplication or ‘double debiting’ of cardholders.

If you experience a situation like this, you are encouraged to contact your bank on the relevant Call Centre number, as provided in the table below. Your bank will be able to confirm that you will be placed in your original standing prior to the error. A second transaction will have to be performed to enable a successful payment to the merchant/retailer.

BankCall Centre number
Absa Bank Limited08600 08600
African Bank Limited0861 100 555
Bidvest Bank Limited0860 111 177
Citibank NA South Africa021 427 3078 (SA only)
Finbond Bank Limited0860 004 249
FirstRand Bank Limited087 575 9404
Grindrod Bank LimitedRefer to back of card
Mercantile Bank Limited0860 119 925
Nedbank Limited0860 555 111
Postbank0800 535 455
Sasfin Bank Limited080 23 23 23 6
State Bank of India011 778 4507/4511 (Office hours)
0800 982 360
SA Bank of Athens Limited011 634 4375 (Mon to Fri)
012 810 1400 (SureCards)
083 123 0145 (Visa TYME)
Standard Bank of South Africa0860 123 000
Ubank Bank Limited0860 008 322

We understand the inconvenience of the situation and although these incidents are the exception, please be assured that every effort is being made at payments industry level to resolve this matter.