How to log a Failed transaction both on POS,ATM and online- full guide

Getting debited on an ATM, POS or online for a failed transaction can be frustrating. The fact that you wont have access to your funds for 24hours (if it is auto reversed) or even worse if you it is not auto reversed, the fact that you need to go and queue at a bank branch or call customer care for hours and hours wasting your credit. There has to be a better way, dont you think?

As a matter of fact, YES there is a way to log this transaction without queuing at the bank, or wasting money on airtime or waiting for years before your money is reversed. And this exactly is what i am going to show you here. 

What is a failed transaction- dispense error 

failed transaction meaning: A failed transaction or dispense error is a situation where you are debited for a declined transaction. This can happen on an ATM, POS, online or even when you are trying to do transfer on your phone, either on mobile app or via USSD.

How and why failed transaction/dispense error happen 

 Failed transaction that leads to dispense error usually happens when there is network downtime with either the acquiring bank (the bank that owns the ATM, POS or online portal), the issuing bank (your own bank i.e the bank that owns the ATM or account you are using to transact), switch (NIBSS, Interswitch or any other switch). It is interesting to know that there are many parties involve in any transaction you do usually 5 or 6 and a network glitch from one of them can cause a failed transaction failed but money deducted from account

How to resolve failed transaction (dispense error)

There are several ways to resolve a failed transaction 

Resolving a failed transaction as a customer 

Depending on the channel you used, there aree several ways to resolve dispense error and get your funds reversed

Resolving dispense error for POS transaction

Since POS are connected to merchant account and lots of POS are owned by mobile money operators like Opay, Kudi, Moniepoint, Palmpay or any other ones out there, as for every dispense error, the funds can either be with your bank (issuing bank) or with the merchant bank or service provider. This is why you need to ask the merchant to help you log the transaction from their end. If the funds is with the merchant bank or service provider, resolution will be faster compare to if the funds is with your bank, in most cases, and after logging this transaction for you the merchant might be credited, depending on the type of POS h used for the transaction. 

Below are some service providers and how they refund failed transaction  

1OPAYIf funds is with opay after resolution, usually within 24 to 48 hours, Opay will credit the merchant 
2MoniepointIf funds is with Moniepoint after resolution, usually within 24 to 48 hours, Moniepoint will credit the customer account (your account as the ATM card owner) 
3KudiIf funds is with Kudi, after resolution, usually within 24 to 48 hours, Kudi will credit the customer account (your account as the ATM card owner) or the merchant account depending on the option chosen when dispute is logged on Kudi
4Palmpay If funds is with Palmpay after resolution, usually within 24 to 48 hours, Palmpay will credit the merchant 
5PaycentreIf funds is with Paycentre after resolution, usually within 24 to 48 hours, Paycentre  will credit the merchant 
6SurebankaIf funds is with Surebanka after resolution, usually within 24 to 48 hours, Surebanka will credit the merchant (only if customer has not log complaint at the bank before)
7All bank POS e.g firstmoni, Accessclosa, wema bank, Ecobank POS,Uba POS or any other bank POSFor bank POS, irrespective of where the money is, funds will be reversed to your bank account as the ATM owner. This usually requires you to log the complaint at the bank or follow the steps i show in this article to log the complaint without going to bank

Resolving dispense error for ATM or web transaction

To resolve a dispense error that occur on ATM or via web payment, it is usually advisable for you to wait for 24 hours before you contact your bank as most failed transactions get automatically reversed within 24hours without you doing anything. 

But if after waiting for 24 hurs and you havent been credited, kindly send a mail to your bank and state the complaint as shown below

Note: This step is also applicable if you use a POS and after the merchant log the complaint with their service provider as stated above, you were advice to contact your bank. 

Step1: Open your email app whether Gmail or Yahoo mail 

Step2: then go to Create new mail or click on the plus button as shown below 

Step3: Input the bank email, below is a list of banks and their official email. Copy your bank email and put it in the space for recipient, then the title of the mail will be Dispense error complaint OR any title you want to use. Then write the content of the mail to explain what happen. You can use my sample below. This is the one i always use to log complaint and it always work. So use it just change the details to your own details 

Sample message: 

Good morning,my account 1234567890 Tope Alao was debited with #2000 on a POS machine on 4/08/2021 for a declined transaction. And up till this moment, I am yet on get a reversal. Kindly help log the complaint

MY details

First 6 digits of my ATM card: 506102

Last 4 digits of my ATM card: 1234


After that, click on the send button. As shown in the image below 

Your email will be sent to your bank. And usually, an auto generated message will be sent to you to confirm that they have received the email. Your bank will usually reply within 24 hours (some banks usually respond faster)

Step4: Wait for your bank response and be sure that they will resolve your dispense error for you

List of banks and their emails 

Access bank[email protected]
Zenith bank[email protected],, [email protected](follow up)
firstbank[email protected]
UBA[email protected]
sterling[email protected]
wema bank[email protected]
Polaris bank[email protected]
Union[email protected],
stanbic[email protected]
ecobank[email protected] and [email protected]
Jaiz bank[email protected]
Heritage bank[email protected],
keystone[email protected],
FCMB[email protected]
FIDELITY[email protected]

Resolving a failed transaction as a POS merchant

Step1: Login to your service provider app and log the complaint for the customer

Step2: Wait for 24 to 48 hours to receive a response. If you are credited after this time, call the customer to come for the cash or transfer the amount to the customer account. If funds is not credit after this period, ask customer to visit bank or log the complaint for the customer by following the steps in the video below

Note: you should only offer to log the complaint for the customer if the customer is patient enough. From experience some customers don’t want to wait any further, so ask such customers to visit their bank. But if customer is patience, follow the steps in the video below 

How long does it take for dispense error to be resolved 

It takes 24 to 72 working hours to resolve a dispense error. This is the official time given by banks as this is the time they will receive a settlement report from NIBSS or any other switch. 

What channel can i use to resolve dispense error 

As a customer there are different ways you can log a dispense 

1. you can call your bank via their customer care line 

2 you can lock the complaint as stated above by sending an email to your bank following the above process or steps 

3 some banks have the option on their ATM machine for you to log dispense error banks such as gtbank Zenith bank and access bank gives you the opportunity to log dispense error on their ATM 

Other options

4 you can also log dispense error by dialling some code on your phone USSD code on the line you used to register the account this is not available for all banks it’s only available for banks like gtbank 

5 you can also log dispense error by contacting your bank via their social media pages such as Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn and other social media networks

List of banks and the best way to resolve their dispense error 

For POS owners and merchants 

Should i pay a customer for a failed transaction/dispense error

For a dispense error as a merchant it is not advisable for you to pay customer as the money can be reversed back to the customer’s account even within the 24 hours time frame.  So in cases like this is it important for you to learn how to manage customers. It is very Common nowadays for customers to be patient with you even after having dispense error as they have experienced such situations in the past. 

Will i get credited for a failed transaction/dispense error 

Whether you will be credited for a dispense error or not depends on the service provider we are using some service providers we reverse the money to your wallet after 24 to 72 working hours. This is common for service providers like Opay,  kudi, Palmpay, surebanka and Bankly. But other service providers like moniepoint, Baxi, and ECOSA We reverse the funds back to the customer’s account. Also any Commercial Bank POS will always reverse the money back to the customer’s account this is after the customer has logged the complaint at his or her bank

Important steps to take immediately a customer is debited 

The first thing you should do after a customer is debited is to login to your mobile app connected to the POS use and check if your account is actually credited or not. if your account is not credited for such transaction make sure you log the transaction for the customer as a dispense error on your app this option is however not available for all POS service providers so if this option is available for your service provider make sure you log the dispense error and ask the customer to be patient for 24 to 48 working hours for you to get response from your service provider.

 if after the time lapse and funds has not been credited to you or the customer as the case may be ask the customer to visit his or her bank.

How do i know if funds has been refunded 

If you want to know if funds have been refunded, log into your mobile app for the service provider of the POS you used and go to the complaint section to check if funds have been reversed to you or to the customer.

Which pos is the best in terms of network 

To be honest there’s no POS that doesn’t debit or have dispense errors but some have a more stable network than others so when choosing your POS service provider make sure you select one that has been in the business for a long time.  this type of companies usually know how to manage their system to reduce dispense error companies like Opay, Moniepoint, Kudi, NowNow, Paycentre are good with this and usually have stable network 

Which bank is the best in terms of network 

All banks usually have network error or dispense error but it is not about not having dispense error but about how fast the bank can resolve a dispense error whenever you have dispense error. So from experience the banks I have seen that provides the best service and usually respond to customers complain faster than others are Access bank, Zenith bank, UBA and Ecobank

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