By Dipo Olowookere
From Tuesday, October 2, 2018, banks operating in Nigeria will have to pay a fine of N10,000 each time it fails to reverse failed electronic payments into a customer’s account within 24 hours.
This was contained in a circular issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and signed by its Director of Banking and Payment System Department, Mr ‘Dipo Fatokun.
“A failed NIP transaction not reversed into customer’s account within 24 hours based on complaints of sender and/or beneficiary [shall attract] N10,000 per item,” the apex bank said in the circular dated September 13, 2018.
It further stated that, “Delayed application of inward NIP into beneficiary’s accounts beyond 4 minutes based on complaints of sender and/or beneficiary [shall attract] N10,000 per item.”
In the circular, the central bank explained that these regulations became necessary in line with powers under Sections 2(d), 33 (1)b) and 47(2) of the CBN Act 2007 “to promote sound financial system in Nigeria, issue guidelines, facilitate the development of an efficient and effective payments system in Nigeria.”
According to the approved regulations, where a customer claims to have made a transfer in error and the beneficiary is known to the complainant, “the Sending Entity shall encourage the complainant to contact the beneficiary for an amicable settlement.”
However, the CBN said “where the beneficiary is not known to the complainant or a known beneficiary refused to effect a refund to the complainant, the Sending Entity having received a tenable claim from customer shall notify the Receiving Entity who shall place a lien on the amount in the account of the beneficiary and thereafter obtain the consent of the beneficiary to execute refund.”
It said further on “where the beneficiary does not give consent, the internal auditors of the Sending and Receiving Entities shall mediate between the two customers within 2 weeks of the complaint to resolve the issue, and their decision shall be final. Accordingly, the lien on the amount in the beneficiary’s account shall not last more than 2 weeks.”
Furthermore, the bank said “where the contested beneficiary has utilized the fund such that lien could not be placed, and he/she refuses to fund the beneficiary account to facilitate refund, the Receiving Entity’s Internal Auditors shall watch-list the customer’s BVN and the Sending Entity may report the incident to law enforcement agencies.”
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