What is direct debit, and how do CBN charges on failed transactions affect you?

The Central Bank of Nigeria has placed charges on failed direct debit transactions for every account holder in Nigeria. But without sufficient clarity, the details might appear confusing.

On Thursday, October 19, 2020, customers of Stanbic IBTC, Nigeria received a mail with the subject line “Fund your account always to avoid penal charges”. It read thus:

“In line with the CBN’s Guide to Charges, a failed direct debit transaction resulting from an unfunded account is liable to a charge of 1% of the transaction amount or ₦5,000 – the higher amount is applicable.”

It urged its customers to always keep their accounts funded in order to prevent these charges.


The CBN issued this directive in December 2019 as part of its “Guide to Charges by Banks, other financial and non-financial institutions”. This document contained fees on other features like Bank Transfers, ATM maintenance fees, ATM withdrawal fees among others.

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