" ITREALMS: Nigerian banks push ATM cards on customers

ob Ad


Embracing breast cancer care with technology - ITREALMS

TelecomsClinic@ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news! Preamble: A few days ago, Mr Aro in remembrance of his late wife, Nne...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Nigerian banks push ATM cards on customers

In attempt to further drive the penetration of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) cards usage in the country, Nigerian banks have introduced another formulae to push the electronic payment cards on bank customers and at the same time, make extra cash.

An ATM card is a plastic card nowadays known as an encrypted data card commonly used by the banking public that gives users immediate access to their funds. Users require Personal Identification Number (PIN) to allow withdrawal of funds from the users account.

Also known as a bankcard, client card or cash card and usually issued by a bank, credit union or building society as could be authorised in the case of Nigeria by the Central Bank.

Noteworthy is that based on the huge funds banks are investing in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) core infrastructure for the sector, the nation’s installed ATM capacity has since grown to over 2,000 as at last December, even as almost all the 25 recapitalised banks have rolled out ATMs at different times, as add-on of their branches in the design to consolidate their positions.

But investigations by Champion Infotel revealed that some Nigerian banks in their desire to cash-in on the need to push for an increased use of ATM cards, have now made it ‘mandatory’ for those opening new accounts to also register for ATM on spot.

Our investigations, which covered both old and new generation banks equally showed that individual banks are deploying various strategies.

For instance, at some of the old-generation banks, customers, especially those opening new accounts now have to fill out ATM forms alongside the account opening documents.

This formula leaves customers with little or no choice on whether to accept the ATM or not, even as some fear that if they did not complete the entire form, the account may not be open for them.

Yet, to some of the customers, they see it as simply a prerequisite for their opening of an account, therefore nothing to worry about only to realise later that they have an ATM cards waiting for them.

At some of the new generation banks, our investigations revealed that even if customers have not expressed initial interest in owning an ATM card, any time such an individual have transactions with the bank, customers would be informed that they either yet to activate their ATM cards or that they are yet to claim it. This notification comes at random.

“This way, they push some customers into getting an ATM cards,” a customer admitted at one of the new generation banks along International Airport Road in Lagos to our correspondent.

Although some of the banking public who spoke to Champion Infotel on the strategies, agreed that it would go a long way in transforming the nation’s cash-based society to a moderated level.

According to them, “it is a way of creating awareness and enthroning less cash in the system,” adding that it is good for the Nigerian economy and the public themselves when eventually they would have realised the importance of ATM, then there would be less queue at banking halls for those who want to just make a withdrawal. Also, there has been a case where a customer claimed to have spent over an hour in one of the old-generation banks, waiting to withdrawal just N5,000.

Above all, those who commented on the development had a consensus that the motivation for the bank’s hassle for this strategy is because they are deploying individual bank’s branded ATMs with accompanied ATM cards of which each usage of such cards affords the banks to earn N100 per insertion cum transaction.

They, therefore, called on Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to be alert to its responsibility to forestall exploitation of the banking public.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

1 comment:

Omodudu said...

Why do the customers have the option of 'not' signing up?