Marriage of Convenience : Bank –Customer Relationship in the Age of the Internet : A South African Perspective

Mpakwana Annastacia Mthembu


The last three decades has experienced the introduction of computers and information technology at many levels of human transaction, namely transfer of funds, data collation and conclusion of contract. The internet is used a medium of transmission of a customer’s mandate and communication of information between the parties. Banking law proper deals with the relationship between the bank and the customer. Traditionally the relationship is that of the mandatory and mandatee. This relationship not only embraces mutual duties and obligations for the parties, but also offers privileges. Internet improves the efficiency of the bank’s systems of collecting and transmitting orders for execution, regardless of the location of the customer. In a typical internet banking transaction, the relationship between the online bank and the customer gives rise to a hybrid nature of the contract between the parties. The relationship of the bank and the customer does not arise unless both parties intend to enter in a relationship. This paper will analyse some of the legal risks created by laws regulating the bank-customer relationship.

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