NLB Bank claims: Cybersecurity is our top priority

Photo: Profimedia

We continuously invest in the implementation of the latest systems and tools for prevention and protection, but what is also important is that we all behave conscientiously because that is the only way we can protect ourselves from a cyber attack, said NLB after the reactions of citizens about attacks on their cards

Until now, NLB Bank has faced various types of disputes and every case is approached seriously and treated with equal importance, the Bank says, after cases of unauthorized payment card emptying "surfaced" in the public. "Free Press" already wrote about how a woman from Skopje was left without her entire salary after it was withdrawn to her in non-existent currency "VNM", while the point of sale was Google, and the transaction was dictated from Singapore. According to the reactions on social networks, she was not the only one.

- In the case of a report of unauthorized transactions by a user, the bank performs an initial check of the submitted request, the circumstances under which the transaction took place and the data we have, according to our internally defined procedures. Furthermore, disputes related to card transactions are forwarded to Mastercard/Visa, which, in accordance with their internationally established procedures, check the documentation by the merchant, during which review it should be determined whether the user participated in the transaction or not. In the majority of cases, from our experience, in more than 90 percent, the procedure confirms unauthorized withdrawal of funds, and we, as a bank, refund the client's money - say NLB.

The National Bank told "Sloboden Pechat" that in accordance with the guidelines from the Circular for financial institutions to follow and apply the recommendations and good practices for protecting the rights and interests of consumers, the period for responding to complaints from banks to customers is 15 days . But NLB Bank says that they cannot influence the deadlines when it comes to cards.

– It should be taken into account that, in accordance with MasterCard/Visa rules, the deadlines in case of dispute are internationally established and, unfortunately, are not within the competence of the bank, which is why we cannot influence the duration of the procedures. They usually range from 30-90 days and must be adhered to. Several parties are involved in dispute resolution: the card user, the merchant (POS-terminal), the client's bank and the merchant's bank, Mastercard/Visa - the bank says. But in the meantime, as we already wrote, the bank's customers, through no fault of their own, run out of money, not only necessary for life, but also for covering loans, which is a common occurrence - that is, there is almost no person who does not have some credit.

Citizens will not be able to recover their money immediately even when it comes to obvious fraud, such as theft in a non-existent currency.

- As we have stated, the procedure is strict, and the banks cannot influence the deadlines, but that is why we are constantly working to raise awareness of protection against abuses and upgrade security systems. It is important to note that with the introduction of more extensive system changes for security, such as chip cards, 3D codes on the Internet and the like, MasterCard/Visa payment houses in the last decade have enabled the majority of customers to be protected from abuses or compensated. As a bank, we follow those changes for the benefit of all parties - the bank says.

From there, they emphasize that in order to protect ourselves from abuses, discipline is needed from all stakeholders in the process.

– For us as a bank and in the entire group, cyber security is a top priority. We are constantly investing in the implementation of the latest systems and tools for prevention and protection, but what is also important is that we all behave conscientiously because that is the only way we can protect ourselves from cyberattacks. We encourage customers in case of suspected abuse to contact our competent services and share their experiences. In this way, we will be able to jointly stand up to potential threats and abuses and finally increase the degree of protection of clients and their funds - NLB Bank points out.

Regarding the disputes so far, NLB says that it is mostly about abuses, undelivered product or service, double processed transaction, double billing, unprocessed "refund", paid in another way (with another card, cash, etc.), unpaid funds of ATM, canceled product/service etc.

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