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SARB issues dark warning over screen-scrapers on Black Friday

SARB issues dark warning over screen-scrapers on Black Friday

The South African Reserve Bank has warned consumers against the use of screen-scraping EFT payments, as bargain hunters flock online for the annual Black Friday shopping spree.

An instant EFT is a payment method offered by a third party, in partnership with e-commerce stores, which automates the initiation of payments and associated confirmations by scraping data from a customers' bank account using their online banking access credentials

The central bank says screen-scraping exposes consumers to unacceptable risks from fraud, data privacy, and breach of contractual agreements.

Unlike other markets, South Africa has yet to supplant the use of screen-scraping tools with consumer-authorised data exchanges through Open Banking.

"As the global economy experiences an increase in the use of electronic payments and online shopping, and considering the growing role of financial technology (fintech) in payments, online crimes are increasing," says Sarb. "It is becoming even more important for consumers to educate themselves on the risks and benefits of using online means to make payments or order goods and services. It is also becoming exceptionally difficult for regulators and the financial industry alike to keep up with such crimes before a loss is experienced by either party."

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