By Business Reporter
WHEN travelling to a country falling outside the Common Monetary Area (CMA) the rules of banking change.
The Common Monetary Area (CMA) links South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland into a monetary union. It is allied to the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).
Due to the provisions of the Exchange Control Regulations published by the Bank of Namibia, whenever a person relocates to a country outside of the CMA, that person will no longer be able to make use of internet banking services to transfer money to other beneficiaries. The aforementioned necessitates the person based abroad to personally instruct the Bank to make transfers on his/her behalf.
“For reasons of practicality and costs, Bank Windhoek clients often opt to send their instructions to the Bank via email or fax,” says Chris Matthee, executive officer, banking services at Bank Windhoek.
“However, due to the incidence of fraud as a result of personal email accounts being hacked or signatures falsified on facsimiles sent to Bank Windhoek, the bank requires its clients to indemnify it against any potential damages that the client may suffer as a result of the bank acting on instructions that were fraudulently issued to the bank.”
“An indemnity serves to indemnify and limit the liability of the bank against all loss or damage, which the client may sustain as a result of the bank acting on instructions issued to the bank via an email or facsimile.
Notwithstanding an indemnity given by the client, any email or facsimile instruction will always be verified and confirmed by the bank by contacting the client personally in the case of an individual and a senior responsible officer/official/ person in the case of a corporate client.
Clients should however note that this may lead to further costs for the client or the client can agree to a specific format which will be utilised when sending instructions in this manner. The aforementioned however does not detract from the fact that the incidence of fraud is and remains a harsh reality and it remains the responsibility of the client to ensure that his /her personal information regarding bank accounts is properly safeguarded,” Matthee said.
Bank Windhoek clients need to visit their branch to inform the branch of the intention to give email/facsimile instructions to the bank, where after the branch will assist the client to complete the email/facsimile indemnity, understand the content of the document and sign it off. The branch will affix a revenue stamp and safeguard the document.
“Any client will have the opportunity to give instructions to the branch to do transactions without going to the branch to give the instructions. However, it is advisable to rather use other channels such as Internet Banking, Cell Phone Banking or the Bank Windhoek App where the risk involved should be lower.”
When clients are in a country other than the CMA, they need to ensure that they have access to the email address provided to the Bank when they signed the email/ facsimile indemnity. If not, the client needs to provide the Bank Windhoek with an alternative email address/facsimile number before going abroad.
“In all this measure is to protect our clients and keep their investments safe,” said Matthee.
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