Mayowa Jimoh was stunned when he received a text message from Access Bank that he had been debited the sum of N50,000 twice.
It was on March 29, 2020, a day before the Federal Government announced the first phase of lockdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, that Jimoh checked his phone following an Access Bank notification that popped up on his screen.
At the time, many families in Lagos were planning on how to survive the would-be 34-day lockdown with the resources they had and Jimoh was not exempted.
Since Jimoh had not initiated a transaction on the Access Bank internet banking app as indicated in the text message, he was confused as to why he got such a message. But his shocker was underway. Confirming from Access Bank USSD and the bank’s app, the revelation that he had been debited N100,000 hit him.
“I don’t do internet banking; I only use the mobile app, so I was shocked when I was debited without my permission. I did not share my pin with anyone as I was at home,” Jimoh said.
He immediately notified Access Bank customer care of the development, asking them to block his account. He also sent an email and chatted with Access Bank on Facebook to notify them of what had happened. Thereafter, he was assured the issue would be resolved and given a case ID (CAS-597897-M4M3P5) to track his complaints.
In May 2020, Jimoh contacted Access Bank on Twitter to notify them of the unauthorised debts on his account, after some call-out by a Twitter user with huge following. He was assured that Access Bank was on the issue until he was informed that his money had been transferred to an FCMB account and that the recipient account was on hold. Till now, Access Bank is yet to communicate with him.
After the Federal Government eased the lockdown, Jimoh visited an Access Bank close to his house to seek explanations; and even though they promised to resolve the issue, their actions have been unsatisfactory, according to Jimoh.
Since Access Bank first replied to Jimoh’s email on March 29, 2020, more have followed, assuring him that he would get his money. However, it is now 16 months since they made their first promise, but Jimoh is yet to receive his money.
“This is unacceptable, Jimoh told FIJ. “How can Access Bank not return my hard-earned money 16 months after their promise? Why are banks only interested in you bringing your money in but abandon you when the money is taken out without your authorisation and when they also know its destination?”
When FIJ contacted Access Bank Customer Care hotlines, on several occasions, they were either unreachable or unable to connect.