The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed Interswitch to suspend refund activities for failed Visa and Verve card transactions, pending the duration of the lockdown that was recently declared by President Muhammadu Buhari.
What we know: Interswitch had sought the approval of the CBN to stop settlement for failed Visa and Verve card transactions in the meantime. The suspension is expected to last until the current lockdown order is lifted.
The new development was disclosed by Fidelity Bank in a message that was sent to customers, as seen by Nairametrics. The statement that said:
“Kindly be informed that Interswitch has obtained approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend operations on its Dispute Management portal due to COVID-19 movement restrictions.
“Consequently, refunds for failed Visa and Verve card transactions on other banks ATMs and PoS terminals will not be processed until the suspension is lifted.
“We, therefore, advise that you use Fidelity Bank ATMs for your cash withdrawal and also, opt for online banking, NIBSS Instant Payment and instant banking in making payments instead of POS during this period.
“Please note that this does not apply to Mastercard transactions.”
Note that possibilities abound that the Nigerian Presidency may extend its lockdown order. This is because the country is still trying to trace over 6000 persons that are believed to have made contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases. What this means, therefore, is that settlement of failed transactions may not be possible in the near future.
Meanwhile, Fidelity Bank is part of the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19. The coalition has raised billions of naira to support the fight against the contagious and deadly virus.
At the moment, Nigeria has reported about 184 confirmed cases of Coronavirus. About twenty patients have been discharged after recovering from the disease, while two deaths have been recorded.