The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed banks to ensure to resolve all Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cardholders’ complaints within a maximum of 72 hours from the date of receipt the complaints or face sanctions. This is contained in a new set of rules to guide transactions, going forward. Where records are falsified by any party, the CBN warns that adequate sanctions shall apply.
In an exposure draft on the standards and guidelines on electronic channels operations in Nigeria, signed Dipo Fatokun, its Director Banking and Payments System Department, the CBN also directed banks or independent organizations that deploy ATM for the use of the public to ensure that the ATM vault replenishment must be carried out as often as possible to avoid cash-out. They are also to ensure that ATMs are not stocked with unfit notes and that cash is available in the machines at all time.
The CBN also warned that the ATM downtime (due to technical fault) must not be more than seventy-two (72) hours consecutively. It added however, that where this is not practicable, customers shall be duly informed by the deployer. They are also to ensure that the helpdesk contacts are adequately displayed at the ATM terminals. It warned that at the minimum, a telephone line should be dedicated for fault reporting and such telephone line shall be functional and manned at all times that the ATM is operational. Also, all ATM charges must be fully disclosed to customers, the CBN insists in the new rules.
The apex bank said that there must be appropriate monitoring mechanism to determine failure to dispense cash; and that there is online monitoring mechanism to determine ATM vault cash levels. “Penalties Sanctions, in the form of monetary penalties / or suspension of the acquiring/processing service (s) or both, would be imposed on erring institutions for failure to comply with any of the provisions of the ATM standards and guidelines or any other relevant guidelines issued by the CBN from time to time,” the apex bank warned. The funding and operation of the ATM deployed by non-bank institutions should be the sole responsibility of the bank or institutions that entered into agreement with them for cash provisioning and in this regard, the Service Level Agreement (SLA) should specify the responsibilities of each of the parties.
The CBN rules noted that Change of PIN must be provided to customers free of charge throughout the entire value chain, while acquirers monitor suspicious transactions and report statistics to CBN based on the agreed format and timeframe. Back-up power (inverter) is made available at all ATM locations in such a way that the machine would not cease operation while in the middle of a transaction, the CBN said, adding that Waste disposal basket must be provided at all ATM locations.
A register of all their ATMs in Nigeria with location, identification, serial number of the machines, etc must also be maintained, going forward.
The CBN also disclosed that it will conduct onsite snap checking of ATMs with a view to ensuring compliance with cash and service availability at the ATMs, as it directed acquirers to report volume and value of transactions on monthly basis to its Director, Banking & Payments System Department.