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How to Get Your Money Back Immediately After a Failed Transaction


Previously, getting your money from Nigerian banks immediately after a failed transaction was one of the most difficult things to do in this life. On God!

You’d have to literally beg, fill sometimes needless forms, use up your precious call cards to call their Customer Service numbers, perambulate any of your bank’s closest branch to you and sacrifice three black goats to the gods of the land to seek redress.

Which in most cases, you won’t still get from them.


Failed transactions in this context, could take any shape. However, the three common scenarios are:

  •   Attempting to transfer money to a beneficiary and the receiver fails to get it, hours after you have been debited with no reversal into your account.
  •   Dispense error which occurs at the ATM. In this case, when you use an ATM to withdraw cash, money leaves your account (you get debited) but fails to come out from the machine. This could be a network or machine error.
  •   Failed mobile (recharge card) top-up from your bank account to your line or another’s.

The tips I’ll be sharing here are tested and trusted. I had some months back on Twitter via my @unilag_efiwe handle, documented all the steps I’ll be sharing here in a thread.

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Response to the thread was massive as the series of tweets went viral. Nigerians all over the country immediately began trying the steps out to getting their hanging monies back.

Almost everyone who followed to the letter, all the instructions I gave, had sweet testimonies to share.

Without further ado, I present to you the crucial steps to take if, and when a Nigerian bank decides to play hanky-panky with your money.

STEP 1: Don’t panic. This is important; just smile to yourself with the realization that you’ve got this. Don’t worry na, you’ll show them pepper!

STEP 2: Take screenshot evidence(s) of alerts (text or mail) relating to the failed transaction(s).

STEP 3: Initiate a new mail from your email address, preferably from the registered email address you gave to your bank – that same one you get all your alerts on.

STEP 4: This is the longest, and most important step. Write a mail to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) complaint unit and the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), and in that same email copy (cc) your bank’s complaint email.

The CBN email address you should be sending your emails to is: contactcbn@cbn.gov.ng, while that of the FCCPC is contact@cpc.gov.ng.

So, for example, you use a First Bank, ensure you first search online for the Customer Care/Complaint email address of your bank and cc them in the mail to CBN and FCCPC.

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Having done all the above, you’ll state in very clear terms, devoid of excess stories, the problem at hand. Ensure you are very specific and give dates and times.

Attach the screenshot evidence(s) you had earlier collated of the failed transaction(s) to the mail.

The tone of your email must be such that you are talking to CBN and FCCPC – this means you’re basically reporting your bank to its seniors. The psychology of copying your bank in the mail and have them see the conversation is to inform them that you know your rights and won’t have them treat you like sh*t.

In the same mail, do not fail – very important – to state that there’s a new CBN policy that makes you entitled to N10,000 compensation fee from your bank, for a failed transaction taking over 24hrs to reverse.

This should be added to the amount you are complaining about and sent into account.

Again, stating this is a signal that you’re very aware of the banking laws of the land.

To be honest, your bank, 99.999% of the time will not give you that N10,000. However, it will immediately prompt them to act on your matter and flag your issue as being very serious.

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No one loves to pay fines na.

STEP 4: Having stated the issue, sign off the email with your full Government name and include your active mobile number under your name.

The reason for including your number is simple.

The instant the email hits your bank’s mailbox, they’d most definitely want to call to apologize for the issue and begin immediate steps to getting it resolved. It is also another avenue for your bank to getting additional information from you to help in solving the issue.

You’ll have to be ready to pick their calls and express your anger on phone, the Nigerian way.

From that moment onward, I dare say within a 20minute timeframe, your money will be reversed. If this doesn’t happen immediately, you’ll be getting premium customer service treatment wherein your bank takes it upon themselves to call and give you progress report on the issue.

I conclude by saying, even if the failed transaction is N100, abeg follow the steps and collect your hard-earned money back. Don’t dull!

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