A bank customer, Idongesit Nwoko from Akwa Ibom State has advised the banking public to always seek redress whenever their banks failed to reverse their debited funds through Point of Sales (PoS) transactions.
She said this following her victory in court that compelled Polaris Bank to pay her the sum of N500,000 as damages, in obedience to an order of a State High Court in Uyo.
The customer had complained that the bank did not reverse within 72 hours as provided by the law, a failed N61,000 Point of Sale (POS) transaction.
Premium Times quoted the customer, Idongesit Nwoko as having said that she was invited to a branch of the bank in Uyo, where the N500,000 cash was handed to her by an official from the bank.
She advised other bank customers to always seek redress in the court of law whenever they are not treated fairly by bank officials.
Mrs Nwoko, a civil servant in Akwa Ibom, used a POS to make a withdrawal of N61, 000 on December 24, 2020. The bank debited her even when she could not withdraw the money.
She made several efforts, including repeated visits to the bank, but that the debit was not reversed until after 28 days.
She later sued the bank through her lawyer, Utibe Nwoko, asking the court to compel the bank to refund her N61, 000 and pay her N100 million as damages and N1 million as cost of legal action.
Justice Bennet Ilaumo, while delivering judgment on the matter, ordered Polaris Bank to pay the customer N500, 000 as damages for failing to reverse the failed transaction within the 72 hours as provided by the law.
Banking sources said the bank had a genuine case to appeal the judgment but that the legal cost of appeal far outweighs the damages the bank was asked to pay.
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 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), PoS, and web customer refunds within two weeks.
However, 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.
In an earlier interview the Nigeria National Coordinator for the Alliance for Affordable Internet, Olusola Teniola attributed this development to the inability of operators to test systems before their deployment as well as inconsistencies.
He said most of these technological equipment are only tested in the laboratory and so when launched in the public, “we become guinea pig.”
In Nigeria according to Teniola, “we are too reactive. Maybe the systems are tested only in the laboratory and so when launched in the public, we become guinea pigs and even the bankers themselves are trying to understand the system. That is why they can’t attend to you immediately because there are errors they can’t account for.”
He made this observation while reacting to rising cases of debits on customers’ accounts after printing transaction failure notice at the Point of Sales (PoS) terminals, and delays in reversal