SHYLOCKS BANNED FROM TAKING CONSUMERS’ BANK CARDS
MBABANE – Micro credit providers who had been demanding consumers to give them temporary or permanent possession of their bank cards and identification number are from today banned from doing so.
This is according to the Consumer Credit Act No. 7, 2016 which came into effect on March 10, 2016 through a Government Gazette Volume LV, No 23.
Since time immemorial, loan sharks have been demanding consumers to provide them with their bank cards together with their security codes. This was done to make sure that the consumer should start from the shylocks on the pay day so that the shylock could first withdraw what is owed to him before handing the bank card to the consumer.
The legislation succinctly put it that a credit provider shall not request the consumer to reveal any personal identification number.
Other than asking the consumer to give possession of personal documents, the legislation further deter credit providers to obtain in advance from a consumer a grant of power of attorney to the credit provider in respect of any matter related to the granting of credit in terms of the Act.
Furthermore, credit providers will not require a consumer to sign in advance any documentation relating to enforcement of agreement irrespective of whether such documentation is complete or incomplete at the time of signing.
A credit provider shall also not require a consumer to consent to a predetermined value of costs relating to enforcement of the agreement except to the extent that it is consistent with the Act.
A credit provider shall also not require, direct or authorise any person engaged in processing payments to give priority to payments for the credit provider over any other credit provider.
The legislation has further put it that a provision in a credit agreement will be unlawful if its general purpose of effect is to deceive the consumer or subject the consumer to fraudulent conduct.
It will also be deemed unlawful if the agreement express an agreement with the consumer to deposit with the credit provider or with any other person at the direction of the credit provider an identity document, credit or debit card, bank account or ATM access card or any similar identifying documents or device, provide a personal identification number to be used to access an account.
In any matter before the court in respect of credit agreement that contains a provision of the above, the court shall sever that unlawful provision from the agreement or alter it to the extent required to render it lawful.
If it is reasonable to do so having regard to the agreement as a whole or declare the entire agreement unlawful as from the date it took effect and makes any further order that is just and reasonable in the circumstances to give effect to the principles of the law.
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