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Media Release: SANParks strives to protect clients against cyber crime

11 September 2017

South African National Parks (SANParks) is in a process of implementing new security compliant measures for credit card payments. This means the country’s conservation and tourism body is now compliant with a global information security standard known as The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) This according to SANParks Chief Information Officer Kamal Pillay who said this move strives to limit any exposure to risk and minimise potential losses incurred from compromised cardholder account information. “Apart from security reducing risks this will also ensure customer confidence when conducting transactions with SANParks using their credit cards.”

According to Pillay, a global cybersecurity experts, Foregenix based in the UK granted SANParks E-Commerce an official certificate of compliance to PCI Data Security Standards in June this year. The SANParks website processes almost 40% of all reservations. “We are happy and proud about this achievement and would like to reassure our clients that their credit card information is safe, secure and protected when they book via the website, as according to conducted research 80% of online businesses in the world do not comply with PCI Data Security Standards.” 

Pillay stated that the next big step in this regard is to implement compliance within all other booking channels – call centre, satellite offices, Wild Card, etc. He added that in order to effectively conduct this process, certain mandatory requirements will have to be followed.  These include international credit card refunds that are only to be conducted through a secure environment to reduce fraud.  

Where a credit card is not present as is the case for Call Centre payments, the following will be implemented: 

  • All payments for reservations and Wild Card where the customer is not present with their credit card will be suspended as from 02 October 2017. 
  • Customers will still be able to make a reservation through the Call Centres, but will be referred to alternative payment methods for payment such as a ‘Quick Payment Portal’ on our website which was released on 5 September. 

Pillay said the aim of this particular portal is to assist customers to make credit card payments on specific reservations without having to go through the process of registering for ‘Online Bookings’. New Terms and Conditions (T&C) were published with this portal and we encourage customers to familiarise themselves with these T&C’s. 

The portal will only require the client to enter their ‘Client Code’ and ‘Reservation Number’ in order to make a payment. “Clients are requested to note that this payment option for Wild Card will be available before the end of September 2017.”  

Further to this, SANParks is also in the process of investigating Instant EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer)/SID (Secure Instant Deposit) as a payment method. This payment method will link SANParks customers directly to their Internet Banking, pre-populating the payment details and directing them back to our Website. “The organisation proudly considers itself operating on the forefront of E-Business technology, standards and governance,” concludes Pillay. 

Issued by: 
South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Communications
Tel: 012 426 5170

Media enquiries:
Janine Raftopoulos
SANParks Head of Communications
Tel: 012 426 5170, cell: 071 444 3121

Reynold Thakhuli
General Manager: Media, PR & Stakeholder Relations
Tel: 012 426 5170, Mobile: 073 373 4999

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