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Tips for banking during the lockdown period

In the past few weeks, the Coronavirus outbreak has disrupted the lives of individuals and the day-to-day operations of businesses across the world and in South Africa as infection rates continue to rise.

With the country entering a lockdown period, Standard Bank is reminding customers that they can continue to access banking services safely and securely from almost anywhere and at any time.

We have implemented robust business-continuity measures, including provisions for employees to work from home wherever possible, to ensure that our systems will be supported, maintained and continuously improved throughout the period.

While branches will remain open and ATMs operational, the bank is encouraging all customers to use digital channels wherever possible to transact. Should customers need to access a service in one of the branches, Standard Bank is promoting the practice of social distancing where possible.

As money changes hands frequently, customers will want to avoid the use of ATMs and the subsequent handling of cash as a precautionary measure to minimise the potential spread of the Covid-19 virus.

There are alternatives to handling cash or using an ATM. Customers should rather pay for goods or services with their cheque, debit or credit cards at point-of-sale (POS) machines with the tap-to-pay functionality or via mobile payment apps like SnapScan.

If customers must handle cash or withdraw from the ATM, we reiterate the continuous washing of hands, including before and after touching the ATM screen or buttons and handling the money, especially if eating or touching food.

To perform other main banking activities like payments and purchases, we strongly encouraging the use of its digital channels and self-service banking so that customers can stay on top of their finances, from the safety of their own homes.

Digital solutions for business owners also make it possible to bank remotely and our relationship managers are available via phone and email to assist wherever possible.

To ensure that digital platforms are stable during this period, we have a robust systems in place. We are constantly monitoring and have our best people working to provide always on banking services. In the unlikely event of a disruption to this service, customers will be informed immediately.

While there is a big focus on staying safe physically, it is important to remember that there will be an increase in internet fraudsters at this time who will look to exploit vulnerable internet users who will be spending much more time online. We advise customers to remain vigilant and to remember that banks will never ask for your banking pins or passwords.

As we have entered a highly challenging period, there may be individuals or business owners who find themselves in financial difficulty. If customers are experiencing financial distress they should contact the bank as soon as possible. The sooner the bank is informed, the sooner both parties can find a workable solution to address or resolve issues of financial distress.

We know that this is an uncertain and difficult period for all South Africans, and for the world, and we acknowledge that we will have a critical role to play in the weeks ahead. We are ready to serve our customers, employees and local communities as we help the country through this crisis together.