A debit order (a process of a company taking money out of your account, usually monthly for services) is one of the most popular way for people to settle their accounts. Unfortunately, as with all banking practices, it can be used for fraudulent activities, or simply not be authorised. Now ABSA Bank is taking steps to prevent this by allowing their customers to reverse debit orders they find unwarranted.

Any debit order which has taken place in the last 40 days can now be disputed and then be immediately reversed, and the money will be placed back into the affected account immediately.

After those 40 days , a dispute can still be lodged, but ABSA will not do any refund immediately, and “cannot guarantee compensation” at all.

To permanently put a stop to wily debit orders, a stop payment instruction can be given and, after it has been active for six months, the debit order will be considered cancelled.

According to ABSA, 31 million debit orders are processed each month, with 10% being unpaid due to insufficient funds or invalid accounts, and 0.6% are disputed (for whatever reason, some not fraud). We wonder if this statistic will rise with the new service.

These services are offered via ABSA’s online banking (ABSA Online) or by visiting one of their branches.

We’ve checked online and the ability to reverse a debit order is already available.

[Image – ImageGator & C.C 2.0 Paul Saad]