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The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), has revealed how banks are working towards attaining shorter time for electronic payment (e-payment) transactions.

The Acting Managing Director of the NIBSS, Mr Niyi Ajao, recently disclosed this in Lagos during a stakeholders’ meeting.

Steps taken so far to achieve this

According to Ajao, on the 14th of March, they changed the timeout for transactions from 15 seconds to 20 seconds, and on the 19th of March, it was changed from 20 seconds to 45 seconds.

“The total turn-around-time (TAT) had been configured at 15 seconds in agreement with banks and processors. However, delayed responses from issuers after this timeout in recent times could cause authorised debits not to return to the terminal before the set TAT.”

Cardholders will get reversals for incomplete transactions – Ajao also explained that in cases where transactions that include transfers and withdrawals were not completed, cardholders would get reversals between 10 pm and 12 mid-night through their banks/processors.

This would aid in increasing the number of e-transactions – Most Nigerians would rather use their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards than going to their banks to perform transactions. However, because of the recent delayed responses from the machines, some people are losing hope in the Nigerian e-payment system.


If the machines give immediate feedback on transactions, then the number of Nigerians that rely on e-transactions might probably increase.

Banks should open more ATM terminals across the country – Nigerian banks should consider opening more ATM terminals across the country so as to decrease congestion in terminals. Most of the ATM points are always crowded most of the time, causing stress and struggle whenever people want to perform transactions .

What is time-out?

Timeout is the total turn-around-time for a POS transaction cycle from the time it was received from a POS to the time a response was sent back to the terminal.

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