10 security measures every customer should follow to protect their bank accounts

A report from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) recently disclosed that there is a growing number of employees of banks either stealing from customers or their employers.

10 security measures every customer should follow to protect their bank accounts

The report which was prepared by the Financial Stability Department of the Bank of Ghana indicated that in 2018, more than 2,170 cases of fraud were reported.

Out of the number, 1,239 cases were committed by banks’ staff in the form of suppressing cash or deposits from customers.

While the central bank puts measures in place to curb fraud, customers need to put in place some safety precautions to ensure the safety of their deposits.

Business Insider spoke to Mr Prince Ansah, an expert in the financial sector who highlighted some security measures customers can take to protect their bank accounts

Here are 10 security measures customers can take to protect their bank accounts

1. Insist on alerts from your bank on every transaction done and read all statements sent to you thoroughly

Mr Ansah explained that it is important for you (customer) to insist on alerts from your various bank. He noted that it could either come through SMS or an email.

This, he said, will enable you to keep track of every little detail of the transactions done.

He added that “It is not just enough to receive the alerts but make sure you read them thoroughly to understand. If you aren’t able to read, look for someone whom you trust and let the person read and explain the message to you.”

2. Get contacts from persons from banks whom you can talk to

Every customer must get at least one contact number from the bank where he or she does business.

The finance expert noted that usually, it could be the relationship officer of the bank.

He said the person will be a link between the customer and the bank where information could directly be sent to.

“This helps the customer get messages as fast as possible, and also, it helps the customer know the human face behind his or her account,” he noted.

3. Restrict access to your accounts

Confidential information must be kept only by you.

"No matter how much you trust a person, never reveal confidential information about your accounts to them. You might not know who is ready to steal from you,” Mr Ansah said.

4. Fill the small notes in your cheque book constantly

Mr Ansah said that a lot of customers are guilty of not filling the small notes attached to their cheques.

He noted that it is important to fill that note because it helps you keep track of the amount and the number of cheques issued.

Filling the notes, he said, will enable you to track the amount issued out and the number of cheques signed.

He added that “If you find out the number of cheques issued doesn’t tally with the remaining in the cheque book, please report it to your nearest bank. This could be a sign that some fraud is being committed.”

5. Request that your missing card must be blocked

Immediately you realise that your cards are missing, request that they are blocked before requesting for another one.

“It is important to block the cards assess because the person who took it might try using it and if it works, he or she is likely to withdraw all the cash on that card,” Mr Ansah noted.

6. Go to the banking hall to rectify your details after signing up with a mobile banker

This is usually for market women and people who send their details to bank staff so that an account will be open for them.

It is important to go to the nearest branch of your bank to verify the details used in opening the account. If you find any irregularities, don’t hesitate to approach the bank for the changes.

7. Prefer a signature to a thumbprint

The finance expert said it would be better to use a signature for your transactions better than your thumbprint.

This, he explained, is because most banks in the country do not have the technology to trace and verify your thumbprint before issuing any payment.

“Hence, I recommend that customers use their signature while doing business with a bank than the thumbprint because it is easily assessed and this will help prevent many irregularities unlike the thumbprint which takes longer time to verify,” he explained.

8. Communicate in a language that makes you comfortable

Do not feel embarrassed to communicate in the language that makes you feel comfortable.

“It helps you understand more about your bank and the type of business you are doing,” he said

9. Ask about the security features of your bank

Always insist on the security features of your bank. It helps you know how safe you are with the bank.

“It is never wrong to ask of the security features of the bank you do business with; in fact, it is a must for you. And also ask for the new security features done. It enables you to know how safe your money is with the bank,” he said.

10. Don’t just speak to anyone you see at the bank

Do not speak to anybody you see at the bank concerning your accounts. The person you speak to may not be a bank staff and it will be easy for the person to steal from you.

Make sure you speak only to the bank staff.

“It is unfortunate that some customers just talk to anyone they see at the bank on issues concerning their accounts. It is not even right to talk to the security personnel at the bank about your account,” Mr Ansah agitated.

He added that “Only talk to the bankers, they are the only people who can help you with issues of your account. Also, these people can be traced if there happens to be any irregularities. Just make sure the person you are talking to has the bank’s tag with his or her name on it, you can even ask of the position the person holds in the bank.”

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