Dispense Error: Bank customers urged to shun ATM in emergency situation


Dr ‘Uju Ogbunka, President of Bank Customers Association of Nigeria (BCAN), has urged bank customers not to depend on Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) for payment in emergency situation.

Ogbunka said in an interview in Lagos that such act should be discouraged because of dispense error associated with ATMs.

He was reacting to a barrage of complaints associated with dispense error by ATMs in emergency situation.

A  dispense error happens when ATMs debit bank customers’ accounts without physically paying them.

The error, most times, is attributed to cash jam in the machines and link problem between bank servers and their service providers among others.

Ogbunka sais that BCAN helps bank operators and regulators to collaborate with customers in settling disputes that arise in the course of banking transactions.

He said that an ATM was prone to such error being a mechanical device, noting that it could be caused by irregular power supply.

Ogbunka urged customers to embrace other alternative channels of payment such Point of Sale terminals (PoS), online banking and agent banking.

Ogbunka, who is also the Registrar, Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN), added that customers’ acceptance of other channels of payment would boost the financial inclusion programme.

He also said that financial inclusion was needed for the benefit of the citizenry and the growth of the economy.

Mr Boniface Okezie, Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), said that CBN and bank managing directors had to collaborate to check dispense error by ATM.

Okezie said that the problem could be rectified by identifying what exactly caused the error.

According to him, banks are not the manufacturers of the ATMs.

“The banks were forced to install the machines without doing a proper home work.

“It was a case of fire-brigade approach,” Okezie added.

A survey showed that the dispense error usually occur when a customer uses an ATM where his account is not domiciled.

Some banks’ spokesmen, who preferred anonymity, said that ATMs were prone to such development because of their mechanical nature.