Insights

A case for mass adoption of cardless ATM transactions in Nigeria

April 11, 2019 · 2 min read
Withdrawing money from an ATM

A Twitter user yesterday took to his personal account to share information about someone in Ibadan who, having withdrawn cash from an ATM using the cardless transaction option, was apprehended and taken into police custody.

Apparently, the people who made the arrest were unaware of the cardless transaction option and felt the accused had committed broad daylight fraud.

It came a little bit comforting to know that the natives were prepared to fight against what they perceived was a crime. And rather than the usual  “Jungle Justice” treatment, typical of locals, they simply handed him over to the Nigeria police to face punishment.

But what would have turned out to be a good posture was typically masked by sheer ignorance.

The cardless transaction capability has been in existence in Nigeria for a number of years, as the intention behind it is to reduce the emphasis on physical ATM cards.

Even though most banks have adopted the service, it is yet to get the attention of these bank customers.

This scenario does put the bank in a compromising position as to not pushing the adoption of the service to customers well enough. But on careful consideration, that notion might not be so true.

GTBank’s *737# USSD code for instance has a cardless transaction option amongst its features. A couple other banks also enabled the cardless transaction option over channels that are easily relatable to customers.

Obviously, there is a communication problem and perhaps the Nigerian populace need to step up to the level of seeing stride in Nigerian banking for what it is.

Granted, in some parts of Europe (especially the UK) contactless cash withdrawals at ATMs are still very confusing as far as the general public is concerned.

That Nigeria is even talking about it shows just how much banking in Nigeria has evolved. To however get to the point where the service needs to be appreciated, the general populace has to be fully in on it.

This is bearing in mind the advantages of cardless transactions. Emergency transfer of funds to a second party for cardless withdrawals, prolonged lifespan of cards, less incidents of theft, to mention a few.

But while there is a real cause to push for mass adoption of cardless transactions, the immediate challenge would be on how to ensure people don’t use them for dishonest purposes.

Ifeanyi

Ifeanyi Ndiomewese

Author

Ifeanyi is a desk reporter-turned administrator. Outside of work, I love to read and travel.

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