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Banks must provide hand sanitiser for 30 000 ATMs

Basa says doing so will be difficult.
Hand sanitiser on the way. Image: Mike Hutchings, Reuters

It is now mandatory for local banks to make hand sanitisers available at all 30 000 automated teller machines (ATMs) in South Africa.

This new stipulation was Gazetted on June 17 as part of the changes made to the Disaster Management Act regulations introduced by Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The new regulation aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19 comes despite the banking industry pointing out that providing sanitisers at ATMs is far easier said than done.

The Banking Association of SA (Basa) notes that as 70% of the country’s 30 000 ATMs are situated in “remote locations and on premises that are not owned by banks, such as petrol-station forecourts, in malls, and in shops in more remote communities”, the banks do not have direct control over these machines.

Even so, the new regulations mean banks will be held responsible for providing sanitiser at locations they have no direct control over.

The regulation makes it clear that they have to “take reasonable steps to ensure implementation of these provisions by third parties hosting ATMs … through appropriate agreements.”

In a statement released earlier this year, the association said banks have tried to deploy hand sanitiser to remote ATMs, but found this strategy was “unsustainable due to pilferage and vandalism”.

Social distancing protocols

The changes to the regulations also require the banks to take “reasonable steps” to ensure that social distancing protocols are observed by anyone queuing to use an ATM.

Here again, Basa says this is a regulation the banks will struggle to implement.

“As there are no bank staff in the vicinity of many remote ATMs it is not practically possible for banks to monitor and enforce social distance queuing at ATMs.

“The placement of social distance markers by banks may also be an issue as these ATMs are not within bank property and are subject to the restrictions of the premise’s owner.”

Basa says banks are taking the following steps to steps to ensure that the spread of Covid-19 is mitigated:

  • Placing social distance markers and messaging to create awareness around ATMs where practical and possible.
  • Cleaning and sanitising of ATMs attached to branches regularly during branch operating hours; banks will continue to ensure the sanitisation of these ATMs and provide hand sanitisers for customers.

ATMs not attached to branches are cleaned and sanitised by:

  • External cleaning companies or landlords, where they are located.
  • By the cash-in-transit companies that service the ATMs.
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In the extraordinary situation we find ourselves today the banks cannot simply wash their hands of all responsibility.

A disclaimer is not good when you charge such disproportionate fees for cash transactions at ATMs. The banks have brought this on themselves.

Similarly it is disingenuous (by malls, municipalities, etc.) to charge ridiculous fees for parking and yet refuse to take any of the risk, deferring it all to their customers.

Nedbank now charge R20 to withdraw R500 even if you are a Nedbank client.

Guess what. I’m leaving Nedbank.

Capitec all the way – zero charges on card swipes, lowest fees on withdrawals. Think around 0.9%? So R4,50 on your R500

And what about the Taxi industry?

They resistant to the Covid Strain…. This lot are immune to anything…even Gauvamunt…
Nothing affects them …
If 1 taxi driver is affected by covid…. 10 are waiting to take over

Today the taxi industry demanded free sanitizer from government

Is Money not the problem? Its the most filthiest piece of paper… it exchanges hands daily

Would sanitising your hands really help?

Maybe the notes need to be sanitized?

And then post 3 guards per ATM so that the sanitizer is not stolen.

…even better: with our South African ingenuity to find ways to steal, ATM scamsters will remove the real hand-sanitizer, and replace it with a look-alike containing a mini-camera…to see what PIN you’re entering.

When you physically visit the ATM, you risk the Covid-virus (and how do I know if a ATM criminal has not inserted a micro-camera into the sanitizer bottle?)

OR, if you want to avoid the Wuhan virus, and do online banking….you risk a virus/malware from cyberspace!

(Then I realised, I cannot draw cash from my online banking. But have a clever idea: can’t the bank design software to link your online banking to your printer….giving it a CASH PRINTING OPTION 😉

Then I print money from home! Much safer!
The bank’s software can give it a special, unique e-tag number. (…like those time-stamped ATM statements which are accepted for FICA)

Later I arrive at the grocery store’s cashier: “…my apologies, I printed these notes this morning…the ink is not completely dry yet…”

FNB Need not worry, you cant find their ATMs anywhere anymore anyway. Like the customer service.

Well I’ve just used a Nedbank ATM out at Rock Cottage – not a spray bottle or a concerned staff member in sight – walk the talk comes to mind, and the banks have had a year or more to come up with a solution

Dear fellow MW reader, please be aware that the paper notes spewing forth from you ATM slot is possibly infected with covid wave 3, 4, 5 and 6 viruses. As a selfless service to the greater community, please return all your ATM notes to me for safe incineration, free of charge.

I’d imagine a built in UV light can sanitize the device and the cash without too much of a drama. Most people don’t use self-help sanitizer correctly in any event

Low and behold, we wake up to our statements with an added fee labelled sanitizer – that how much I don’t trust our banks

End of comments.

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