24th April 2015
The Banking Association South Africa (The Banking Association) notes with concern the article on this matter in the Pretoria News of Wednesday, 22nd April 2015. The article refers to “something fishy “in the pilot programmes started by two banks and in process of being implemented by two more banks. It is indeed disappointing that some MP’s are quoted as expressing suspicion against banks for offering this service, without seeking an engagement with The Banking Association to understand the arrangement.
The project is in its pilot phase with the four major banks in South Africa; Absa, FNB, Nedbank and Standard bank. FNB and Standard Bank have signed MoU’s with the Department of Home Affairs and should be rolling-out the services soon. Absa and Nedbank will complete their MoU’s shortly.
The initiative is seen as a quick and efficient manner to assist government to issue the ID cards. Banks also have the infrastructure in place to check the FICA credentials of applicants. This brings about greater efficiency in the process as the FICA checks can be conducted at the time of processing the application. This will limit fraudulent applications and drastically reduce the issuing of fraudulent cards. The process is also efficient for applicants because they can choose to have their cards delivered or alternatively, as they do with bank cards, collect their smart cards, from their branch of application or a pre-chosen branch more convenient for them.
The Banking Association South Africa stresses that banks will not have any direct financial gain, from the provision of this service. The four banks will be providing the service in the national interest and are playing a positive role as good corporate citizens. MP’s should be encouraging this type of co-operation between the public and private sectors to provide services to citizens efficiently.