In a bid to adhere with the CBN guidelines and reduce the volume of cash in circulation, quite a number of us acquired ATM cards. These electronic cards opened new vistas hitherto unexplored and introduced us to galaxies far, far away! We’ve become more adept at making online transfers and gotten the hang of internet shopping too.
The ATM card has become the equivalent of the credit card and serves practically the same purpose. It gives us access to our money when we need it and promptly too. Well except those moments when the ‘service provider’ bank is unavailable or the grand old ‘network’ is on the blitz!
We’ve all had instances (too numerous to mention) when we went cashless thinking we’d just withdraw from an ATM as soon as possible. Confident in the powers of technology and conversant with the locations of the machines we went about our business…
With experiences like this piling up, more people learned how to juggle their cashless policy to better fit schedules and lifestyles. It’s often wiser to have ready cash than depend on the vagaries of a system not yet mature to handle the sophistication demanded.
Another grievance with this service is the number of actual working machines to service the populace. Often times within a bank premises not all machines are functional. If you’re in luck one could work out of three and the queue not too long either. If you’ve got rotten luck, that single machine’s service is epileptic and the queue longer than normal.
It’s quite normal to see people lined up waiting for their turn at the ATM. Sometimes this quite defeats the purpose of a quick withdrawal. Every other person also had the option lined up and happened to converge in the same place, after all nobody likes undue stress. Not all banks are guilty of poor ATM maintenance but some are often more glaring than others.
It’s really rotten luck when your bank card also doesn’t work with the machine! The ‘network unavailable’, machine being serviced and other message makes for rising tempers. It becomes more frustrating if the only solution is to enter the banking hall. Although much improved services now prevail in the halls, there are people that try and avoid them at all costs.
Thankfully universal and internet banking have made it more convenient to use various bank services, certain variables come into play once someone ventures into the banking hall. Experiences vary between banks and also more interestingly within branches of the same organisation too.
Retrieving a confiscated card from another bank’s ATM is another dimension in frustration, especially if this happened on the weekend. It’s further compounded if the user only has one card or one account adequately funded.
Although we’ve all had instances where things didn’t work out like we wanted, we’ve also had stances when they did. Zipping in and out of the bank premises and using the machines without incident is also common place. It may not be as hitch free as we prefer but it still happens. We look forward to the day when we’ll have no need to gripe so much about functionality of service provision by various service providers.
Like everything else the cashless policy and its practical implementation continues to play out in the daily lives of the populace. Each individual has learned how to juggle what works best in their unique conditions. We have also realised that hitches will occur but improvements will also take place. We must continue to place a demand on getting it right quickly, permanently and satisfactorily for users.