The end of year usually means some time off and lots more opportunities to spend. It’s understandable that we want to spoil ourselves and our loved ones, but with all the card swipes, shopping trips and public holiday partying, it’s so easy to lose track of your money. Overshooting your budget is a common problem at this time of the year, but unfortunately it isn’t the only thing you need to be wary of. The festive season is also a boom time for scammers, who are constantly looking for ways to trick us. With all the activity in our bank accounts, they hope that we won’t notice odd transactions or money that has disappeared.

This makes it all the more important to keep an eye on your bank accounts this holiday season. You may be a customer at multiple banks and you need to keep track of them all.

An easy way to do this is to check your transactions every second or third day and make sure that you know what each one was for. It’s not hard to recall the shops you spent money at or the restaurants you visited. Look out for duplicate transactions, incorrect amounts or cash withdrawals that you did not make.

This may seem like hard work, but it should only take 5 – 10 minutes at most.

Pay close attention to small debit orders that have come off your bank accounts. Amounts less than R100 are easily glossed over, but these are the ones that should set off alarm bells.

An added bonus is that you will also start to notice where your money is going. You’ll quickly spot your spending trends, and perhaps realise that you are probably spending too much on things like clothing, gifts or eating out. When you consider that your December salary had to keep you going well into January, this could be the reality check you need to curb your spending.

The best part is that you can manage your bank account straight from your phone.

How do I register for cell phone banking?

To register for cell phone banking is really easy with African Bank. You’ll need to already have an active bank account, which you can then link to your cell number. A consultant at a branch can help you through every step of the process, but it’s just as easy to register yourself by using this link.

How do I check my bank account balance on my phone?

There are two ways you can use your cell phone to bank. If you have the African Bank App on your phone, you can simply open this, to view your balance and transact.

If you don’t have the app, you can check your balance by dialling *120*225# and following the prompts.

Is mobile banking safe?

The safety of your bank account is our number one priority! You do, however, have a responsibility to keep your PIN and personal information safe when you use your cell phone to bank. You have the key to the door, so to speak, so you need to ensure that you keep your banking details secret and safe from prying eyes.

Some banking tips for the festive season

  • Transfer money that you will need in January to a Savings Pocket to avoid the temptation of spending it.
  • Keep track of your bank balance every few days and be on the lookout for any strange transactions.
  • Never click on any links from emails or SMS’s that claim to be from your bank.
  • Don’t give away personal information over the phone unless you are certain about who you are speaking to. If necessary, hang up and call back using the general contact centre number.

Wishing you a happy, festive and safe December holiday.

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