Increasing network hitches and lack of funds are slowing the efficiency of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), thereby frustrating Nigerians, who thronged to get funds for the yuletide season.

A visit to some banks in Aguda, Lagos, showed that virtually all the banks in the vicinity had one issue or the other. Specifically, visits to Stanbic IBTC, Zenith, Access, Fidelity and First Banks confirmed these challenges.

Long queues were noticed at the banking halls of Stanbic and First banks. Also, crowds besieged available ATM terminals.

A customer, Innocent Odili, while commenting on Stanbic’s services, said prior to the yuletide, the bank’s service was top-notch, “but I simply don’t know what has happened. This yuletide period, the service has not been fantastic.”

At the ATM terminals of First Bank, there were observable crowds. One of the customers claimed to have been waiting in the queue for about 45 minutes because of the large number of people that thronged the terminal.

An Access Bank customer, Mrs. Celestine Iyo, claimed to have been at the bank as early as 8am to complain about a fund transfer issue, “I have spent about three hours waiting to be attended to because of the huge crowd.”

According to her, many people have visited the bank to complain about the ATMs, which are not dispensing cash. “Out of about six ATM terminals, only about two are working. You can imagine that, especially at this period.”

Another customer of Access Bank, Maureen Idahosa, claimed yesterday to have waited for about five hours before her matter was resolved.

She disclosed that network hitches almost crippled the operations in the banking hall. Idahosa also suggested that there was a scarcity of cash “as the bank had to wait for people, who wanted to deposit before they could give money to those who wanted to withdraw. “The challenge was that bad!”, she said.

According to her, the crowds at the bank were much because so many of them are not using the mobile app because of constant complaints of network hitches and unsettled funds.

MEANWHILE, a Point of Sale (PoS) operator, Suleiman Aliyu, claimed to be happy with the challenges the banks were having.

He said the banks’ challenges are an opportunity for him to have more customers and earn more profit.

“Customers are leaving the banks for PoS operators because they are sure of getting funds without hitches,” he stated.


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