17 March 2020

Customer Questions & Answers (core issues)
  • 1. Is it safe for customers to use Absa branches?

    We have implemented a number of interventions in all Absa offices, including branches, to ensure the safety of our customer and employees. Our buildings are cleaned as required and hand-sanitiser is readily available. Branch employees and bank colleagues understand the procedures outlined by health authorities.

    We have taken measures to provide:

    • Hand-sanitisers for employees to use after every transaction or customer interaction 
    • Alcohol swabs to wipe biometric readers after every transaction or customer interaction
    • Gloves for cash handlers
    • An increased cleaning regime of our premises (e.g. desks, keyboards, etc.)

    Increased staff awareness around hygiene and general behaviour (e.g. coughing into arm, not shaking hands, not touching nose/eyes or mouth, etc.).

  • 2. If an Absa branch is temporarily closed, how can I take care of my banking needs?

    If a branch is closed, look out for signage of where to find your nearest open branch. You can also consider different ways to get your banking done, based on what's easiest for you. For example, accessing your accounts online or by using the Absa Banking App. You can make payments, view transactions, check balances, find an ATM, and more online or on our app.

    It is easier than ever before to manage your account digitally and to use our digital tools and other resources for self-service banking and 24/7 account access. If you have not signed up for digital account access yet, you can still do so. It’s easier and faster to manage your account this way, especially since it might take longer for calls to be answered.

  • 3. Will Coronavirus affect customer service or other services that Absa provides to me or my business?

    At this time, we are not experiencing disruptions to our customer or banking services. We will continue to update you about any new developments. 

  • 4. Is it safe to handle cash?

    Absa’s top priority is the health and well-being of our customers and employees, their families and surrounding communities. We continue to monitor the situation around the Coronavirus and respond in accordance with global standard procedure.

    According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), studies suggest that the Coronavirus may persist on surfaces for a few hours up to several days, depending on the type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment.

    We are giving due consideration to how best we can mitigate the risk of contamination from cash. We are working closely with the South African Reserve Bank, our third-party service providers and the industry at large to ensure we manage the country’s cash supply in the best possible manner.

    We have put measures in place to protect our customers, employees and the communities in which we operate. These measures are reviewed and updated regularly as more information becomes available.

    With regards to cash, the measures include ensuring that our service delivery platforms – be it tellers, ATM dispensers or other cash-processing areas – are sanitised at regular intervals and we have a variety of alternate digital payment and money transfer options available. We encourage you to use digital channels to assist in avoiding direct contact with money. Absa employees have very limited contact with banknotes or coins (high-volumes cash are mostly processed by a third-party service provider with whom we have agreed practices to limit contagion).

    Due to the volumes of banknotes in circulation in the South African economy, it is currently not practical to test and treat the notes.

  • 5. Is it safe to use point of sale (POS) machines?

    Given the widespread use of POS machines in the market, it is vital that we all make every effort to handle these devices with care and responsibility. Many retailers have put in contingency measure, e.g. sanitising POS devices. However, as with any surface that multiple people touch, we strongly advise you to sanitise these surfaces as far as possible and wash or sanitise your hands after using any of these devices.

  • 6. Does Absa have a plan to disinfect surfaces in busy areas often?

    As per the World Health Organisation’s protocols and requirements, we have introduced the following:

    • Cafeteria – we have appointed a person dedicated to cleaning all surfaces throughout the day
    • Lifts – we have a team wiping down buttons and handrails in the lift all day
    • Escalators – same applies as lifts, dedicated person per floor
    • Reception areas will be wiped down and sanitised by receptionists after every customer interaction
    • Door handles throughout all buildings are wiped down at regular intervals
    • Meeting rooms are cleaned every four hours and after every meeting
    • Shuttles transporting colleagues are deep-cleaned at various intervals on a regular basis.    
  • 7. Is it safe to use ATMs?

    • ATMs remain safe, however, as with any surface that multiple people touch, we strongly advise customers to sanitise these surfaces as far as possible and wash or sanitise their hands after use.
    • In-branch ATMs are thoroughly cleaned every two hours or more regularly depending on traffic volumes.
    • We have requested franchises and store owners where we have ATMs to assist in providing hand-sanitizers next to our ATMs as a voluntary action.
    • We will be sending a formal letter to all ATM service providers to request increased diligence on the hygiene aspects of ATM servicing.
    • Our third-party service providers are engaging in precautionary measures as well.
  • 8. Are clients screened or required to declare their recent travel as they enter our branches and campuses?

    Within the context of Covid-19, there is a clear obligation on Absa to manage the risk of contamination in the workplace. When visitors sign in at any of our reception areas, they will be asked to declare whether they have recently travelled to a high-risk country. The host receiving guest(s) are obliged to inform guest(s) that this is a no-handshake zone and enquire about the recent travel history of the guest