There are cases where people receive bank credit alerts not meant for them. While some simply allow or ensure a reversal, others quickly withdraw the money and consider it a divine financial intervention.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in its recent regulations on Instant Electronic Funds Transfer to banks has addressed that, especially for inter-bank transfers.
According to the new directives which took effect on October 2, 2018, whenever a customer receives any credit by error, he or she is expected to notify the bank immediately and give consent for such funds to be reversed.
It stated that where the customer’s account is not sufficiently funded to recover erroneous payment, he or she shall provide funds within 24 hours.
Failure to do so means that the customer and his bank account will be placed under surveillance and other sanctions will follow. The BVN makes surveillance easy.
The apex bank said: “Whenever a credit has been erroneously applied to the customer’s account with the Receiving Entity, the customer shall promptly notify the Receiving Entity and authorize the reversal of such erroneous credit.”
“Where the customer account is unfunded, the customer shall provide funds within 24 hours, failure to provide funds shall be a ground for watch-listing of the customer in the banking industry, Credit Bureau and reporting to law enforcement agencies.”
The CBN also indicated that in an instance when a sender erroneously sends value contrary to the customer’s instructions due to a wrong account number, wrong amount to the receiver, both parties have the rights to request reversal in writing within 14 working days of the transaction.
CBN said a protection for loss of funds would be inferred against the sending entity making the reversal request attended to.
It noted that where funds were not available, the receiving entity should immediately notify its customer that the account was wrongly credited and provide proof of such notification to the sending entity.
The CBN also directed that banks shall pay N10,000 fine in a case where an electronic transaction fails without reversal to the customer’s account within 24 hours.
All Deposit Money Banks, microfinance banks, other financial institutions, mobile money operators, development finance institutions, payment service providers and other stakeholders across the country were directed to comply with the directive.
CBN also stated that delayed application of inward Nigeria Instant Payment (NIP) into beneficiary’s accounts beyond four minutes would attract a penalty fee of N10,000 per item.
Bank customers were however advised to always provide accurate beneficiary account details when making electronic transfers, and to report any problem arising from the transactions promptly to the sending and (or) receiving bank.