By Raceal Ishaya & Lucy Nwachukwu
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said any failed instant payment transaction not reversed into the customer’s account within 24 hours after complaint by the sender or beneficiary should be reported to CBN
The Director, Consumer Protection Department, CBN, Mr Kofo Salam-Alada said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
The director recalled that the CBN had in September 2018 published a circular on the guidelines for instant electronic payments, which also include sanctions for banks and other financial institutions that abuse the system.
He said that the CBN had mandated banks to pay a fine of N10,000 to customers for each failed transaction not resolved within 24 hours.
“When you do instant payment, you want it to be instant and when it is not achieved then there should be sanctions to such providers.
“However, we want to use this medium to inform the public that the first point of call is actually your service provider not CBN and it is only when your bank cannot resolve it and there’s no promise of resolution that you come to CBN.
“After that, the CBN can step in and look at the issues and see whether the customer is entitled to what he’s claiming against the bank.
“It is not all the time that customers come to the bank that they will get what they want.
“We will examine the issues and see whether there was any failure on the part of the bank before the decision is made,” he said.
NAN recalls that the Circular was issued on the regulation of instant inter-bank electronic funds transfer services in Nigeria to all Deposit Money Banks, microfinance banks, mobile money operators, development finance institutions and payment service providers.
The CBN in the circular announced that any failed instant payment transaction not reversed into the customer’s account within 24 hours will attract a fine of N10,000.
It also said that delayed application of inward NIP into beneficiary’s accounts beyond four minutes would attract a penalty fee of N10,000 per item.
According to the CBN, all instant electronic funds transfer disputes should be resolved within three working days.
Also, where a customer and the bank fail to agree, the aggrieved entity should report to the Director, Consumer Protection Department, CBN within five working days of the failure to resolve the dispute so as to minimise customer pain.
Meanwhile, some customers who spoke to NAN urged the CBN to do all it could to ensure the banks complied with its directive.
Mrs Agatha Eze, a trader, said she transferred money to her customer who supplied some items to her in Kano and it took three days before the customer was credited.
“I had to go to my Gurantee Trust Bank branch to make a complaint of the issue on the second day where I was told to fill a form.
“It took up till the next day before the customer was finally credited, after much misunderstanding from all parties.’’
Mr John Ogar, a business man, also complained of having issues with a client due to a failed transaction where the money was not reverted immediately.
“Yesterday I had a serious clash with a client who I transferred money to and he did not receive the money.
“The money left my account but did not get to him immediately due to network failure from his bank according to what my accountant said.
“The advent of e-transactions is good and commendable but with all these issues it is causing between me and my clients, I may not continue using it.
“If the CBN is asking us to go cashless and do e-transactions, they should also ensure the certainty and ease of doing such transactions.’’
Another bank customer, Mrs Blessing Adole, also said she had similar issue where she did a transaction that failed and the money was not reverted till after one week. (NAN)