Customers suffer losses as PoS, bank transfer failures persist

Chinwe Michael

Many Nigerian bank customers continue to suffer losses over the recurrent failure of Point of Sale (POS) and Nigeria instant payment (NIP) transactions.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in its determination to further enhance service quality, particularly quick refunds when customers experience failed transactions, dispense errors or disputes, said in a report that all banks are directed to resolve the backlog of all ATMs, PoS, and web customer refunds within two weeks.

However, BusinessDay findings show that many bank customers still do not get their money reversed on time and some don’t even get a reversal at all, in spite of the CBN directive on failed transactions.

Michael Fortune, a businessman at Ikeja, Lagos, said after purchasing goods from his supplier, he made a transfer of N50,000, which was debited but his supplier did not receive the money.

“Till date, I am yet to receive my money, and I have since reached out to them through calls and email, but they keep telling the same story that my complaint is being passed to where it would be solved after taking them days to give me feedback,” Fortune said.

Emeka Nwu, a trader, also said a PoS transaction decline caused him an appointment. The goal was to get money to pay for his transportation to the location of the appointment. But the failure of the PoS and the inability to get his money reversed immediately left him with no choice but to go home.

“I was debited but the PoS attendant told me it was declined at their end,” said Nwu.

He said the N5,000 he couldn’t get from the PoS machine was the only money he had. “The money is yet to be reversed one week after the transaction decline,” he said, Nwu, adding that he had made several complaints to the bank to no avail.

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A source at one of the Tier 1 banks who pleaded anonymity, told BusinessDay that the issues of non-reversal of debited funds after failed transactions were most times caused by third-party banks and some intermediary networks.

“If the corresponding banks do not get back to us on time, then there is nothing we can do about the transactions. But if they do, that is when you see us addressing the issue on time,” the source said.

According to him, when customers use a bank’s debit card to transact through another bank’s PoS and the transaction fails, it is often not possible to resolve the problem outright.

“It is not only a bank-to-bank thing, as some of these issues are from people managing these platforms like the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), and other transfer platforms which the CBN has mandated to manage these platforms,” the source said.

Gloria Fadipe, head of research at FCMB, said the CBN directive mandates customers to report if a bank does not address the problem within a specified period.

“There is also negligence on the part of the people involved in attending to this problem on time. Although this happens on a daily basis, such customers will get back their money but it might be delayed,” she said.

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