Fraudulent Credit Card Withdrawals
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The customer requested an SMS notification facility on her new account. The card was allegedly kept in a safe, as the funds were savings. Several months later, the customer noticed that the card was missing and that all the funds had been withdrawn.
She suspected her home helper and demanded a full refund from the bank on the grounds that the SMS facility had not been activated.
Transactions were performed with the customer's card and PIN.
The bank argued that the customer was negligent by not keeping her card and PIN safe.
The OBS found that the claim was based on the probability that she would necessarily respond to SMS notifications and that she was negligent. However, good banking suggests that a bank has a duty to advise the customer that the SMS service would not be operative unless the cellphone was present at the time of registering and the notification SMS validated.
The office recommended a goodwill payment, which was accepted by both parties.
Lesson to be learnt
Card users should be aware of the location of their cards at all times and never apply PINs that are predictable. Contact the bank if a requested facility is not loaded.