Here are some quick reads for this week

Eskom load shedding

Eskom load shedding

Published Dec 7, 2023


Standard Bank consumer green funding approaches R3 Billion

Standard Bank Personal and Private Banking has announced that its consumer green lending book has grown by over 26% to R2.9 billion.

The bank’s LookSee Solar Loan features personalised interest rates capped at a maximum of Prime plus 2.5% on loans ranging from R3 000 to R300 000. Existing and aspiring clients can also choose a repayment term between one and five years to suit their monthly budget.

The bank said it disbursed funds to individuals in South Africa for installing solar solutions or purchasing “green-aligned” homes.

The bank said it was confident it would meet its 2023 target of providing R1.2 billion in financing for these initiatives.

According to the bank, there has also been a dramatic increase in the financing of solar systems through home loan re-advances.

Standard Bank digital e-commerce and housing platforms head Andrew van der Hoven said: “We are incredibly proud to be leading the charge on not only finding new, cost-effective sustainable solutions for our clients’ energy needs but to be helping in easing the demand on the national grid and promoting energy efficiency."

FNB to power over 1 000 ATMs with UPS systems to improve services during load shedding

FNB has announced plans to improve the operational resilience of its ATM network across the country by installing Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems in more than 1 000 standalone ATMs, allowing customers to access services even during power outages.

According to FNB, the first phase of the project will begin with installations at 300 ATMs by the end of this year.

The development follows FNB’s recent commitment to equip 100 of its branches with solar power.

FNB personal segment CEO Lytania Johnson said: “While millions of our customers use channels such as our FNB App, online, and cellphone banking to access most services, many still use ATMs to perform a range of activities for day-to-day financial needs, so our devices need to be accessible at all times.”

FNB points of presence CEO Zibu Nqala said: “Our approach for phase one will be ATMs in locations with heavy device usage without landlord backup power. These ATMs will be able to operate for at least four hours during interruptions in power, allowing customers to access services during both planned and unplanned outages.”

Cryto sector most targeted for AI fraud

Cryptocurrency is the main sector targeted by AI-driven fraud, according to Sumsub's Identity Fraud Report of the year.

The full-cycle verification platform released its third annual report and said crypto represented 88% of all deepfake cases detected in 2023, followed by fintech (8%).

Sumsub AI/ML head Pavel Goldman-Kalaydin said: “The rise of artificial intelligence is reshaping how fraud is perpetrated and prevented. AI serves as a powerful tool both for anti-fraud solution providers and those committing identity fraud.

"Our internal statistics show an alarming tenfold increase in the number of AI-generated deepfakes across industries from 2022 to 2023. Deepfakes pave the way for identity theft, scams, and misinformation campaigns on an unprecedented scale.“

Sumsub said AI will be a key focus of regulations in 2024, and companies should take note with the understanding that AI safety is set to become an integral part of their activities.

"In addition to the AI-powered fraud prevention tips, the report provides an exclusive overview of AI regulations," it said.

The group said of concern to South Africans is the astounding rise in deepfake frauds by 1200%.