Nigeria: Bank Customers Groan As Glitches Mar E-Transactions

22 January 2020

Abuja, Lagos — Many customers of the tier 1 bank, Guarantee Trust, yesterday lamented their inability to seamlessly make online transactions due to a major disruption in the bank's electronic channels on Monday and early Tuesday.

Daily Trust learnt that the disruption was a result of the software upgrade and network expansion the bank embarked on to accommodate its growing customer base.

The bank however said in a message yesterday that the issue had been resolved.

Recall that in its 2019 half year report, the bank under its retail strategy, delivered growth of 16.3% in its customer base from 14.4 million in Full Year 2018 to 16.4 million in Half Year 2019.

An insider who spoke with Daily Trust said: "We have been closing by 6pm for some days to enable us address the problem. The entire GTB nationwide is down. You cannot transfer from or to a GTB account."

A customer, Tasie Chimezie, who spoke with our reporter in Lagos said: " I made an ATM transaction of N30,000 to GTB account using a First Bank ATM. I got debited but the recipient didn't get the money. This happened five days ago. He has complained using many channels but got lame excuses."

Another customer in Lagos, Adeola Lawal said: "GTB will send you debit alert for something you did three days ago and nearly give you heart attack because you're wondering what you did at that moment only to remember what it was for."

Another customer in Abuja, Miss Rose, complained about the USSD channel. She said:" I have been trying to recharge via 737 all day, it didn't work. I had important calls. I stepped outside to get a recharge card. Got it, then my account was credited. Now I have credit from failed 737 transactions and also a card I already paid for."

However, one of our reporters in Abuja visited three other banks at about 3pm on Tuesday and reported that customers were seen making online banking transactions without much hitches.

The UBA customer relations officer at the UBA Jahi, Abuja, said transactions happened all day without glitches.

A customer who preferred to be addressed as Mohammed said he had no problems doing online transfer.

"I came to the bank, filled the transfer form and did the transfer. It didn't take me more than 15 minutes to finish the transaction because one or two people were ahead of me" he said.

He however said, some days, the network fluctuates and during those days, the recipient would have to wait for an hour or two for the money to hit his account.

One of our reporters also visited GT bank, Jabi and reported a similar experience. The only difference, he said, was that there were greater number of customers waiting to be attended to.

But one of the customers who identified herself as Esther said she has been unable to carry out online transactions in the last few days.

She called on the bank to invest more in ICT infrastructure to improve the customer experiences with online banking.

Also customers at the First Bank, Jabi, were seen doing online transactions without glitches when our correspondent visited.

GTBank, in a bid to address the backlog of challenges announced the extension of its banking hours till 6pm.

The extension, the bank said, is to pay up for the inconveniences experienced by its numerous customers.

The bank in a message to some of their customers yesterday also said: "Dear Customer,we know you have experienced some inconvenience today using our banking channels. We sincerely apologize for the disruption in our service delivery to you, and we are extending banking hours at our branches till 6pm today. Thank you for banking with us."

Later yesterday, the bank said all services on its banking channels had been restored.

"This means that normal service levels have been restored and you can now access all our banking services - online, via *737#, and in all our branches nationwide.

"We sincerely apologize for every inconvenience you may have experienced as a result of the service disruption on our banking channels today", the bank said.

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