Saturday, 12 November 2016

Who’s to Blame for the Challenges at ATM’s?

History has it that Automated Teller Machine (ATM) was introduced into Nigeria market in 1989, and the first was installed by National Cash Register (NCR) for the defunct Society Generale Bank. Today in Nigeria we have over fifteen thousand ATM’s spread across the nation. These machine helps dispense cash and carry out other human teller task e.g. balance inquiry, payment of bills etc.
The benefits of ATM’s to bankers and their customers cannot be over emphasized, they help banks make more money, help to decongest banking halls, offers customers 24/7 specific banking services, bill payment like airtime purchase, utility bills etc., but with every great invention there are some down sides. Machines are designed to make life easy for man, e.g. Bicycles, Aeroplane, Cars, Blender, Microphones etc but the automated teller machines have become a concern in Warri. Aside the challenges of theft and scam, the ATM can be very frustrating.

The cashless policy in Nigeria grew our reliance and dependence on ATM cards and machines, these means installations of more ATMs and other financial service alternatives e.g. POS machines. The increased usage created a strains the machines that makes them liable to breakdown or fail without notice and when they do, brings challenges derails plan of resident. The sad part of the challenges, is that it can be avoided or averted.
As much as ATM’s has numerous advantages, it has caused us too many headaches e.g. Long Queues, debit without payment, making customers stranded, embarrassment, waste of time increase in fraudulent activities etc. A machine that was designed to solve problem has created a new set of challenges, many of which I believe can be avoided.

Why do we have queues, dispensing challenges, network failures at our ATM?
Investigation revealed that the banks are 90% responsible for the long queues at ATM booths, it’s amazing how only one ATM will be working in a booth with over three or five machines. 89% of people that uses the ATM, go there to withdraw cash, often times these machines are unable to dispense cash, have no network or have broken down. It’s the responsibility of the banks to ensure that these machines are stocked with cash and maintained regularly. These days, customers find it difficult to withdraw from cashiers, if they are withdrawing less than a hundred thousand naira, what these means that, even customer that wants to withdraw a thousand or ninety-nine thousand uses the ATM. For example Diamond Bank, UBA, ATM’s at Estate Okumagba Avenue in Warri, First bank along Airport road, Diamond Bank and First bank at Orhuwhorun junction and Udu road, The ATM’s inside Delta Mall, (By the way, we need more ATM’s at Delta mall). If the machines are not dispensing, they will have no network or not working at all. Banks should take complete responsibility and fix these challenges and reduce the amount of time customers spend at the ATM. We can’t keep queuing at ATM’s all the time when it can be avoided.
ATM Fraud
Fraud thrives on ignorance and greed; if we can cut down our greed and learn, ATM fraud will be drastically reduced. We should get the right website address from our banks, verify emails and SMS sent to us, be careful not to release card details to unsecured online platforms. E.g. sites that has only http instead of https. The difference is the S that stands for secured at the end of the later.

Warri cannot continue in this vein, we have to change the narratives in our city and Nation. We cannot keep doing same thing and expect the different result. The banks in Warri should wake up and ensure that all of their ATM’s are working efficiently. Customers should learn and be less greedy, customers should relate with or have their own account officers that we can reach out to anytime to verify calls, mails or text messages. We at #newwarri believes that we can have less queues at our ATM's and end the funny and ignorant stories told around it.

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