Cash-in-transit robberies decreased by 16% in 2019: SABRIC

Cash in transit
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The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) has released its 2019 crime stats on behalf of the banking industry which shows cash-in-transit robberies decreased by 16%.

The stats also show a decrease of 2% in associated robberies.

According to SABRIC, an associated robbery is a violent bank-related robbery of cash or a bank card committed against a bank client en route to, or from a bank branch, ATM or cash centre to make a deposit or withdrawal.

Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape showed the biggest decreases for these crimes.

The SABRIC statement says, “ATM attacks decreased by 9%. The North West, Free State, Western Cape and Gauteng accounted for the greatest decreases in incidents.  Cash-in-transit robberies decreased by 16%. All provinces with the exception of KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State experienced incident decreases. Overall gross losses on card transactions in South Africa amounted to R428.6m. This was a 2% decrease when compared to the previous year.”

SABRIC also adds that the counterfeiting of cards decreased by 44.8% for credit cards and 34.8% for debit cards.

SABRIC CEO Nischal Mewalall, “Collaboration is critical when it comes to combatting organised financial crime and SABRIC is well positioned to do just that, by leveraging the collective efforts of its members and stakeholders. These results show what’s possible.”

Digital banking fraud incidents in South Africa increased by 20%. But it is noteworthy that gross fraud losses on banking apps increased by only 1% despite a massive drive by banks to increase the number of transactions processed on apps.

“Our banks have sound security measures in place to mitigate digital fraud. Criminals know this and therefore resort to manipulative social engineering tactics to get bank customers to inadvertently share their personal and confidential information, allowing them access to transact on customer accounts without authority. However, there have been no reports from our banks where a banking app was technically compromised to commit fraud.” says Mewalall.

Credit card and debit card fraud increased by 20.5%. According to Mewalall, the increase in credit card fraud must be viewed against the growth of the credit card payment ecosystem which has seen a rise in the number of credit card transactions processed by banks, coupled with increases in the number of cardholders and merchants. This would have contributed to more incidents.

Below is the full statement from SABRIC: