Failed Transactions: CBN Revises Timelines for Dispense Errors, Complaints. Reduces Maximum Reversal Times

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has today, announced that starting from 8th of June, 2020 lengths of time it takes for failed ATM, POS, website, or mobile transactions will be reduced. In a press statement this morning, the Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, disclosed that the length of time it will take for failed transactions on several platforms will be reduced drastically. For instance, it will take only seconds for failed transactions on the ATM of the same providers of the ATM card (On-Us) to get reversed, as against the 3 days length of time prior to 8th June, 2020. If there is a system related hitch, time for manual reversal is only 24 hours or less.

This is coming at a time many customers are complaining bitterly about the failure of their banks to reverse failed transactions or resolve transaction complaints. The situation has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic where banks are scarcely operating full-time. The measure by the CBN will help to galvanise banks to be swift in responding to complaints.

Below is the press release by CBN.

CBN Revises Timelines for Dispense Errors, Refund Complaints
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, has revised timelines for reversals and/or resolution of refund complaints on
electronic channels, with effect from June 8, 2020, as follows:
1) Failed “On-Us” ATM transactions (when customers use their cards on their bank’s
ATMs) shall be instantly reversed from the current timeline of three (3) days. Where
instant reversal fails due to any technical issue or system glitch, the timeline for
manual reversal shall not exceed 24 hours.
2) Refunds for failed “Not-on-Us” ATM transactions (where customers use their cards
on other banks’ ATMs) shall not exceed 48 hours from the current 3-5 days.
3) Resolution of disputed/failed PoS or Web transactions shall be concluded within 72
hours from the current five (5) days.
4) All banks are directed to resolve backlog of all ATM, POS and Web customer
refunds within two weeks starting June 8, 2020
Meanwhile, key service providers in the Nigerian payments system have also committed to
establish an integrated dispute resolution platform for the industry and enhance their
payment system infrastructure and processes to reduce incidences of transaction failure.
Members of the public are therefore requested to refer to the updated Guidelines for the
Operation of Electronic Payment Channels on the Bank’s website ( for
further details.
Isaac Okorafor
Director, Corporate Communications

While it is a great news for bank customers, Nigerians will be careful with their expectations as banks have many times before, gone against the regulations of the CBN regarding their treatment of customers. Some transactions take as much as four or five weeks, while some even take as much as three or four months to be corrected, leaving the customers helpless.

Source: Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN

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