I have read several serious complaints from ATM card holders, about using their cards in Nigeria. I once saw a hilarious headline on a popular Nigerian web forum where a poster mischievously defined ATMs as “Automated Thieving Machines” 😀 The only serious problem I have experienced with using an ATM in Nigeria was due to network connectivity issues.
On a dark cool night sometime in June, somewhere in Lagos, I needed cash to pay some critical bills but all the international Visa ATMs in the vicinity I was lodging gave the same error that sent cold shockwaves down my spine: “Your financial institution is not available”. The ATMs I visited were all linked to Vpay – a local subsidiary of Visa International and they all beamed the same error message. I was eventually able to withdraw some cash from a UBA ATM after so much sweat. Apparently, UBA Nigeria is linked to the Visa network via their own direct channels. UBA was a face-saver for me that night.
I had a similar experience in Ibadan in March when no Interswitch ATM would process my GTB-issued ATM card. Obviously, GTB’s network was down and so my card could not be authorized for any transaction. The temporary problem left me high and dry for several hours on a hot afternoon in the ancient city.
What’s your story?