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Naira scarcity: Nigerians express frustrations over e-banking hitches



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Nigerians have lamented the frustrations over the declining success rate of using electronic channels as the scarcity of new naira notes worsened.

A survey of e-banking users yesterday indicated that nearly two-quarters of customers experienced one form of hitches or another, with most complaining of undue delay and inability to complete the transaction on the spot.

They lamented their inability to either transfer cash via their banking application or the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes.

Indications have also emerged that banks might be reviewing their business model in line with new technological changes and Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) naira redesign and enhanced cashless policies.

The cashless policy, which limits daily cash withdrawal to N20,000 and ties such transactions to the Bank Verification Number (BVN), means there will be less cash to handle in branches, putting the work of bank tellers at risk.

Already, banks are cutting bulk teller jobs, limiting cash handling to one or two tellers at every branch.

READ ALSOBanks have taken measures to quicken flow of Naira notes, says ACAMB

A lady who identified herself simply as Tolu said since the CBN activated the panic button by setting a deadline for the exchange of the old naira notes with the redesigned notes, the success rate of her electronic banking transaction has plummeted.

“I have been trying fruitlessly since morning to transfer cash to my son at the university. Initially, I thought it was because I was in an enclosed environment, so I stepped out to an open space but the thing just continued to roll as if I was trying to download video. The situation never used to be like this before this rush-rush thing of the CBN,” Tolu said.

Another bank customer, Kunle Aderopo, who tried to transfer cash to pay for goods, said he had to call the customer to explain his challenges.

“I bought some items from my customer. Since cash is now a scarce commodity, I collected his bank details and tried to transfer cash to him using the USSD code. I tried several times each time getting ‘network not available’ as response and gave up,”Aderopo said.

READ ALSONaira scarcity: House‘ll continue to monitor CBN–Gbajabiamila

President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo blamed the development on pressure exerted on the network owing to the knee-jerk CBN’s cashless policy implementation. He said the state of access to telecoms services is very poor because of the pressure on the network.


President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Ikechukwu Nnamani, however, said the flip-flop service of electronic banking has nothing to do with the strength of network infrastructure.

Nnamani, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Medallion Communication Limited, said the inability of bank customers to make use of either the USSD or app is the fault of the banking platforms.

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