• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

Bank transfer glitches persist amid cash availability

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Failed bank transfers experienced during the naira scarcity are yet to ease despite cash availability, according to the latest BusinessDay findings.

The failure of bank transfers was expected to ease as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender till December 31, 2023. However, this has not been the case as the banks’ digital payment infrastructure continues to show a lack of resilience in the face of pressure from customers.

While few individuals attest that they are no longer having issues carrying out online transactions, many said that nothing has changed since the CBN made cash available as they still have issues carrying out transactions.

“The online banking glitches have not been resolved yet. During the Easter holidays I found it hard to use my mobile banking app on my phone the whole day,” said Tony Chigoziri, a Lagos-based teacher. “A friend of mine also had issues paying the restaurant bill and was embarrassed by his bank as he was unable to make card transactions or transfers. They had to let him go after a while, pending when the network was accessible for him to make his payment from home.”

Chigoziri added that the issue has gotten unbearable to the point where people go to make complaints on the comment sections of viral posts on Twitter tagging the banks for not being able to return their money after failed debit transactions for weeks.

He said, “I don’t think the banking sector has got the Internet banking system fully functioning. A lot of these banks need to build more databases to be able to collect data from a wider range of account holders.”

Adeniyi Kayode, a plumber in Ikotun, said the Nigerian system has a way of escalating issues that can be resolved within a short period.

According to the plumber, normally the transfer issue is a phase that should pass when cash was made available but the reverse is now the case because nobody wants to look into it, while people keep suffering.

Read also: Pay special attention to credit risk, CBN instructs financial institutions

“Nigeria will always find a way to make everything a new normal. I cannot use my GTbank account for over two days now. The app refused to open and most times at the point when you need to pay for something important,” Adeniyi said.

According to him, having money and not accessing it is unbearable. During the naira scarcity, I witnessed responsible people fighting inside the bank to get their money because you can’t go home and tell your family that there is no money. The authorities should join hands and make things better for everyone in this country.

Similarly, Nelson Ajero, a digital marketer said that the shortage of tech talents in the financial sector may also be linked to the transfer glitches, urging banks to work towards retaining talents in the sector.

“This might also be linked to the Japa issue which affected the banking sector. When your digital workforce is reduced, cases like this may likely occur. So, there is a need to go back and look at all the issues and come up with a solution. People can’t continue suffering when they have money,” Ajero said.

Meanwhile, for Loveline Chinaza, the transfer failure from his bank has stopped since cash was made available as she now carries out multiple transactions like before without disruption.

“During the naira scarcity, I was unable to use my Zenith Bank for transactions. I will have to stay awake till midnight or wake up very early in the morning to clear pending transactions because of the bank network. But since cash became accessible, I have not witnessed such again. The period of scarcity was a very difficult moment for me because I had to go hungry most times or buy food on credit because of transfer failure,” Chinaza said.

She said the cashless policy of the Federal Government would be a good move but they must devise means to ensure people don’t get hurt while implementing the policy.