Centenary Bank was forced to block all customers Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) after complaints from about 25 clients that they were receiving abnormal transactions on their accounts.
Centenary Bank Managing Director, Fabian Kasi, told a press conference Thursday afternoon at Mapeera House in Kampala that the problem started over the weekend during Independence Day celebrations.
“We received complaints from 25 customers regarding inconsistencies on their bank balances with the bank,” he said.
Kasi said preliminary investigations found out that the problem arose from a system upgrade that the bank regularly undertakes to improve its services.
“As part of the efforts to address the inconsistencies, we instigated a temporary ATM cash withdraw limit to Shs 100,000 for 24 hours.”
Normally, the bank allows a withdraw limit of up to Shs1m which Kasi says has been restored.
“Secondly, the bank decided to block all customer ATM PINs.”
Kasi says the exercise affected all the bank’s 63 branches countrywide.
He advised customers to visit the nearest branches to reactivate their pins which are currently deactivated.
“We request the customers to change their PINs at their convenience, those who cannot do it immediately can for the meantime access our services directly at the counter or use our mobile banking system (Centemobile),” Kasi suggested.
He said those who wish to withdraw money and have been affected by the precautionary measure can have their pins reset or visit banking halls for quick services.
Asked whether the action could have resulted from hacking of their system, Kasi said he could not speculate but that investigations were still ongoing.
He said customers lost between Shs17m to Shs20m in the process.
“Those who lost their money will be compensated,” Kasi announced.
Customers need to carry identification documents for each account that they hold during the re-activation process.
Centenary is the biggest indigenous bank in Uganda with the highest number of savings accounts in the economy.
The bank which has been in the country for over 30 years has 1.3 million savings accounts and 41,715 current accounts.
It has 155 ATM machines across the country, according to a release by Allen Ayebare, the chief manager corporate Affairs and Communications.