South African estate agencies, motor vehicle dealers, pharmacies and even schools may be taken by surprise to learn that they are now required to produce evidence in the form of FICA compliant recordings if they are to be used as proof in a dispute.
The new FICA Bill signed into law by President Jacob Zuma earlier this year will be effective next month. It is commonly understood that the Act has implications for banks and financial institutions, but it does have an impact on many businesses.
“Traditionally, the responsibility for managing the risks related to financial crime has rested squarely on the shoulders of the financial services industry,” says Léon Rüsch, product & sales Manager at SS Telecoms. “The FICA Act now brings non-banking role players into the scope of anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism legislation in South Africa. Many such organisations don’t realise what impact financial crime may have on their businesses.”
Sectors that will need to gear up for October’s planned implementation of the FICA Act include the retail motor industry, which has a high level of arbitration; educational institutions — given the sensitivity of discussions regarding minors and the increasing number of threats against teachers; the medical industry; and security companies, who may need to prove via voice recordings what calls were made and verbal instructions issued during those calls.
Ivan Mollentze, CallCabinet Channel Manager explains: “Many binding instructions are issued verbally over the phone. Without a proper recording system, how will parties prove verbal instructions? Instead of relying on an administrative process to verify a transaction, verification now relies on the recording of the instruction. Without the requisite recording, the instruction cannot be contested.”