FNB has made a significant change to how its clients make online purchases ahead of Black Friday and the festive shopping season.

Previously, the bank sent a one-time PIN via SMS or email to customers to confirm transactions made on online stores.

Now, however, it has adopted the Online Secure, or 3D Secure, system in an attempt to cut down on cybercrime.

“As cybercrime continues to be one of the barriers that hinder the growth and potential of ecommerce activities in South Africa, FNB is rolling out its Online Secure authentication service to all merchants and individual customers to provide an additional layer of security for digital transactions,” the bank.

“In line with industry requirements, FNB has upgraded all merchants and cardholders to Online Secure authentication to ensure enhanced user experience, security and flexibility.”

Online Secure means that all FNB customers will be required to authenticate themselves when making online purchases. This can be done via a push notification sent through the FNB mobile banking app.

“If the customer does not have the FNB App or does not respond to the FNB App push message to approve their online purchase, they will receive the OTP via SMS, App messaging and by logging onto Online Banking messaging,” FNB said.

“Receiving OTP via email is being discontinued in line with the bank’s strategy to discontinue communication via this format for safety measures.”

It is therefore recommended to download and set up the FNB banking app for the smoothest experience possible when shopping over Black Friday.

App-based authentication

The bank said that in the case that FNB is satisfied the purchase is secure, customers will not be required to authenticate themselves via Online Secure.

This will result in faster authentication during periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, FNB said.

FNB now allows customers to update their Online Secure contact details via the FNB App, and it will subsequently discontinue the updating of Online Secure via its online banking and call centre channels.

“We encourage customers to opt for convenient and safer ways to shop during Black Friday in line with COVID-19 safety guidelines,” said FNB Card CEO Chris Labuschagne.

“More importantly, many local retailers have begun offering Black Friday specials much earlier than usual to improve the shopping experience for consumers.”

“We also encourage customers to use trusted platforms when shopping online and remind everyone to always keep information such as PINs and passwords safe and to only authenticate transactions they have initiated,” he said.

These security changes will also allow customers to complete transactions when shopping online through payment methods such as digital wallets, QR codes, and mobile payments.

For example, FNB customers can use the app’s Scan to Pay feature on websites where this is supported to easily make payments for products.

Payment requests are also supported, where the cardholder will receive a push notification on their phone from the FNB app and select the account they would like to pay from.

Online Secure will protect cardholders against unauthorised use of their FNB cards for online purchases, while also protecting commerce businesses against financial losses resulting from online fraud, FNB said.

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