Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), banks, and other payment service providers, Tuesday, agreed to effect changes under four strategic areas bothering on transactions time-out, reversals, capacity building, and monitoring.
The four key areas, which will encompass 14-point notes, by The Guardian’s estimation, will provide immediate and sustainable solutions to the recent challenges of dispense error, and non-reversal of value for failed transactions recorded in the industry.
For a start, NIBSS has adjusted upwards the transactions timeout to 45 seconds from 15 seconds, to allow more time for Point of Sales (PoS) transaction cycle.
The Acting Managing Director of NIBSS, Niyi Ajao, noted that the delayed responses from Issuers in recent times could have caused authorised debits not to return to the terminal before the set turn-around-time expired.
But more drastic and now ongoing, according to him, is that NIBBS would disable any Issuer with delayed responses beyond 45 seconds with immediate effect.
He said once there is a debit error, banks’ customers are advised to contact their banks as first line of support, while for further dispute support, they can reach out to NIBSS on: Toll Free line: 0800ASKNIBSS; CPDComplaintsMgt.gov.ng; [email protected]
Admitting that whenever there is a transaction decline, the system is supposed to reverse the transaction such that a debited cardholder would receive a reversal credit, Ajao noted that the delays could be caused by platform downtime. This is also linked to network issues at processor level; and/or “Issuer/Switch Inoperative” – the processor or bank is not available to receive the reversal even when it’s transmitted by NIBSS.
For this, he prescribed the fixing of platform application, which NIBSS has undertaken since February, alongside network remediation carried out with concerned processor.
He also said there would be implementation of a secondary process, whereby all reversals for any business day are re-transmitted between 10pm and 12 midnight, to return credit to cardholders through their banks/processors, effective March 22.
Ajao, further unveiled plans for the implementation of real-time reversal by PoS terminals directly, which would require that banks are available to receive such online real-time, effective by or before end of April 2019.
To avert low capacity, he said NIBSS would ensure that system resources must be enhanced once the 65 per cent threshold is reached; assuring that the infrastructure has been scaled up such that the system utilisation is lower than 40 per cent, to prepare for expected higher volumes in the next few years.
NIBSS said it has implemented an in-memory database system on the NCS platform since March 18, to ensure super-fast responses at the centre, with all systems being load-balanced for non-stop performance.
Banks and all service providers are to ensure the minimum system requirements for their front-end systems for them also to cope with higher volumes, while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has already waded in on the infrastructure issues, with active engagements of stakeholders and timelines.
NIBSS has provided all stakeholders with monitoring solution online, in addition to transaction monitoring platform for confirmation of transaction status, failure rate, stakeholder availability, and average processing time.