ATM Cash Withdrawal

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ATM Cash Withdrawal Failed, But My Account Was Debited, How do I get this resolved?

ATM Cash Withdrawal Failed, But My Account Was Debited, How do I get this resolved?

The use of ATM machine for cash withdrawal came with much relief to the entire banking populace, however difficulties and challenges are being encountered at various points specifically ATM cash withdrawal.

I’m writing this guide to enlighten my readers who have continued to lay the following complaints and questions on the way forward.

ATM transaction failed yet I was debited, money debited from ATM but not received, ATM didn’t dispense cash but my account was debited, ATM trapped my card etc. These questions have continued to flood my email and I think it’s time do something about it.

That being said, in this guide I will show you how to recover your money very fast, how to avoid ATM cash retract, ATM fees, charges and many more.

You may also like: Tips to averting ATM card fraud in Nigeria


The word ATM stands for Automated Teller Machine (ATM). This machine is used to carry out various transactions ranging from cash transfer, payment of bills, subscription, airtime Top-up but most importantly in this guide we are looking at its function for cash withdrawal.


ATM card is a plastic card usually linked to your account, it has electronic features which allow you to carry out specific transactions like cash withdrawal, airtime Top-up, payment of bills etc. Depending on its type can as well be used to carry out online transactions for payment of goods and services.


If inserted wrongly to the ATM machine, ATM card will probably not work. However the correct order of inserting an ATM card to the machine is to look at the arrow head sign on your ATM card, then insert the card with the arrow head end entering the machine first, this way the machine will recognize the ATM card.


ATM cash withdrawal limit refers to the amount of money you can withdraw from the machine using the ATM card in a day. Usually in Nigeria, you can withdraw to the tune of N150,000 a day, which you will be denied access for further transactions with same card within 24hrs of such operation.


Nothing is for free, the bank will always make some returns to stay in business. In line with CBN policy, once you carry out transaction on an ATM other than that of your bank three times in a month, you will be charged N65 for the services.

Example: Say  Mr Donald a customer of MPC Bank Plc decides to use his ATM card on  ATM of another bank say XYZ for his  ATM cash withdrawal. Once he consummated three different transactions, a charge of N65 will be applied to his account, hope that’s clear?


It has been a regular occurrence to have the above mentioned experience while trying to use the ATM. The practice where the ATM will pass a debit in your account without dispensing cash is referred to as cash retract or dispense error.

Cash retract could be as a result of any of the following;

  • Network downtime: When the issuing bank isn’t having the best of network, more often than not you are bound to have cash retract during ATM cash withdrawal from such machines.
  • Cash jam: This is a problem with the machine itself, like the name implies it normally occurs when cash in the machine are not in dispensable form or are clogged due to weak  notes.
  • Machine develops fault: If an ATM suddenly goes bad, it will in turn affect cash withdrawals thus could lead to dispense error.
  • Power outage: If power suddenly goes off while you’re consummating ATM transaction, there’s a great chance that you will be debited without corresponding credit.

If you experience ATM dispense error, it could be very frustrating and painful, however there’s a way out of this mess. Usually some dispense errors could automatically rectify and assume the right position. It means some debits could get reversed after sometime while others are not reversed.

Transactions on your bank ATM have high chances of being reversed than off banks, in any case kindly follow the below steps to recover your money.

You may also like: What is debit card: All you need to know about debit card in Nigeria

  • Visit your branch and lay the complaint: Once you have been debited without credit, kindly visit your branch. On arrival walk straight to the customer service unit and explain how it happened.

After brief interrogation, the customer service officer will give you a cash retract form to fill. In that form you will be required to provide the following details: Your account name, account number, date of transaction, card number this is the 16 digit number on the surface of your ATM card, amount debited, location and all that.

Once you are done filling the form submit same to the customer service officer who will then follow up with your request.

Note: If say you used MPC bank ATM card on XYZ Bank ATM machine and you were debited without being paid. You are required to go to your bank MPC whose ATM card you’d used in effecting the transaction and not bank XYZ whose machine debited you without payment, Hope that’s clear?


This is the next question the customer service representative is expecting from you. It’s usually easier and takes lesser time to reconcile ATM dispense error for intrabank transaction than inter-bank. How do I mean, If you’d used your bank’s ATM card on your bank ATM machine and there’s a case of cash retract, you will most likely get your money back within 24 to 48 working hrs at most.

But the case is different when it’s interbank, I mean two different banks are involved. The customer service officer has to login the complaint on ATM cash retract dispute resolution portal. In this case your bank MPC will write the other bank XYZ who will in turn confirm if there was actually a transaction of such nature on them.

The confirmation process here takes some time because they’ll write inter switch for resolution. Sometime resolving interbank dispense error could take 5 to 7 working days. At this time you’re advised to be patient. Possibly source for money elsewhere and solve your immediate financial challenges while they keep working on it.

But in any case they are not showing any concern and it lingered more than the recommended days kindly lodge in an official report to Central Bank of Nigeria by visiting this portal  on arrival on this website, locate their email address and pour out your lamentations and ordeals you’ve been through.

CBN will in turn mandate your bank to settle you within 24hrs, reaching directly to the top management of your bank. The reason is that sometime those staff at the branch have this crude attitude to customer’s transactions. Some could abandon your request without any attention, that’s just the truth.


The strategy I’m about to reveal to you will save you stress that abounds in the period of ATM cash retract.

Before you make your withdrawals, kindly check your balance first. If you were able to view your balance, then you have 99% chances of getting paid. But if it’s on the contrary that you couldn’t even check your account balance on the machine prior to withdrawal, it’s a red flag.

Kindly back out, it could pay other customers with different ATM cards, however don’t let that lure you into ATM dispense error.


ATM cash withdrawal should be seamless and very easy, however very frustrating in event of dispense error. Kindly drop your questions and inquiries using the comment box below.

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