Postbank reverses 4,500 Sassa payments after another system glitch

People queue for their social relief of distress grant in East London. File image.
People queue for their social relief of distress grant in East London. File image.
Image: Sino Majangaza

Postbank says thousands of South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) payments have been reversed after a system glitch.

Sassa grant beneficiaries were unable to access their grants this month after Postbank suffered yet another glitch in its system. At least 4,500 beneficiaries were affected.

Postbank said its system became unstable, resulting in social grants beneficiaries using the Sassa/Postbank gold card experiencing challenges when doing transactions on national payment system (NPS) access points such as ATMs, retailers and Post Office branches.

Speaking on CapeTalk, Postbank spokesperson Bongani Diako said the situation has stabilised and payment issues have been resolved.

Performance of payments was now “above industry level”.

“On January 5, during the payment of child grants, between 9am and 12 noon, the system's performance wasn't up to standard. Beneficiaries who attempted to withdraw money at ATMs or retailers, their transactions timed out. They didn't get the money but it reflected as if they did. That meant reversals had to happen,” he said. 

“Nationwide, 4,500 beneficiaries were affected and we have since done all those reversals.”

Millions of beneficiaries who use Postbank or gold cards were unable to withdraw their funds from ATMs in December after Postbank uncovered criminal networks targeting ATMs to access accounts.

Postbank said: “In recent months, Postbank has been experiencing technical glitches that disrupted the smooth withdrawal of social assistance benefits. 

“After extensive investigations we uncovered network attacks by criminals determined to commit ATM card fraud-related crimes on Postbank payments using sophisticated modus operandi which require further investigation.

“As a mitigating exercise, and in consultation with our partners after the resurgence of these criminal activities at the inception of the December payments, it has become necessary that Postbank suspends Sassa grant withdrawals at ATMs for clients using the gold cards issued by Postbank.”

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