Demonstrating its commitment towards supporting businesses and promoting diversification in Nigeria’s financial sector, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed that in 10 years the apex bank refunded over N115.45 billion and over $22.7 million to customers for failed bank transactions.
CBN stated that no fewer than 35,453 complaints from bank customers relating to failed transactions in the last 10 years.
During a recent fair organized by the CBN to educate stakeholders and farmers on alternative payment channels to promote financial inclusion, Mr. Elachi Samuel from the Consumer Protection Department provided insights into the resolution process.
He encouraged farmer associations to embrace the CBN’s e-Naira policy, emphasizing the benefits of adopting digital financial services.
Samuel reassured consumers that their complaints regarding failed transactions are taken seriously, and the CBN is committed to addressing these issues.
Since the establishment of the Consumer Protection Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2013 till May 2023, up until May 20, 2023, the CBN has successfully refunded N115.45 billion in failed bank transactions. Out of the 35,453 complaints received, a remarkable 33,437 cases have been resolved.
The banking sector has faced numerous challenges in recent years due to unresolved failed electronic payment transactions, leading to significant financial losses.
In the first quarter of 2023 alone, failed payment transactions resulted in a 4.83% decline in the value of cashless transactions, decreasing from N39.58 trillion to N37.67 trillion.
According to reports from The Guardian newspaper, approximately N49.4 trillion worth of failed electronic transactions are still awaiting resolution.
These transaction failures commonly occur through unstructured supplementary service data (USSD), failed Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or card transactions, and terminal transactions associated with intermittent slow service and a sluggish internet banking system, among other issues.
During his address, Samuel emphasized the rights and responsibilities of financial consumers, particularly regarding chosen bank products, resolving failed transactions, and the disclosure of transaction details.
He highlighted that consumers have the right to receive transaction history via email to ensure transparency and prevent being shortchanged or cheated.
Samuel also stressed that financial consumers must be aware of their right to report unresolved failed transactions to the CBN, ensuring that their concerns are appropriately addressed by the banking institutions.
As the CBN continues to tackle the challenges of failed bank transactions, it aims to enhance consumer confidence and trust in the banking sector.
By addressing these issues and implementing measures to prevent future transaction failures, the CBN seeks to promote a robust and reliable financial ecosystem that benefits all stakeholders involved.
Speaking earlier in his opening remarks, the Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Isa Abdulmumin, said the fair was designed as a platform to interact with members of the public on the policies and strategic interventions of the apex bank for sustainable economic development in the country.
According to him, as a responsible and responsive corporate citizen, the CBN has demonstrated the most passionate commitment to supporting businesses and promoting diversification through an array of interventions in agriculture, health, manufacturing and other key sectors of the economy.
Abdulmumin, who was represented by the Assistant Director in the department, Esu Imo, said the presentations to be made included those on how the bank had protected the rights of financial services consumers through the Consumer Protection Department, from the Currency Operations Department on how best to keep the naira clean and the efforts of the CBN to make currency available to the populace.
Other presentations, according to him, are recent innovations in the Nigerian payment system by the Payment System Management Department and recent developments in foreign exchange by the Financial Market Department.
The director stated, “Therefore, the objectives of this engagement are among others, to sensitise members of the public to how the bank’s interventions can grow their businesses and contribute to the Nigerian economy.