₦714 million glitch: fintech giant OPay gets court order to restrict customer accounts

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₦714 million glitch: fintech giant OPay gets court order to restrict customer accounts

Chinese-backed fintech giant OPay has received approval from a Federal High Court in Lagos to freeze customer bank accounts in thirty listed banks as part of a process to recover ₦714 million received by customers during a system glitch. The system glitch occurred from December 10, 2023, to March 4, 2024, and allowed customers to receive value for unsuccessful transactions, according to court documents seen by TechCabal.

OPay contacted customers who received value for sums above ₦500,000 via emails and phone calls and asked them to fund their accounts so the retained funds could be debited immediately after it became aware of the issue.

The fintech recovered 10% of the total amount from those customers.

“While some customers responded positively to the Applicant’s request and cooperated with the Applicant in respect of the recovery of the Erroneosly Retained Credits, some customers have refused, failed, and/or neglected to fund their accounts to enable the Applicant to deduct the value of the Erroneously Retained Credits from their respective accounts,” the company said in a court filing.

The fintech asked the court to freeze the customer accounts and filed an affidavit of urgency alongside its application. The orders were granted by the court on June 28, 2024, and OPay will now begin asking thirty banks to restrict the affected customer accounts.

OPay declined to respond to comments.

OPay customers received money for pending transactions

Financial institutions use bank response codes to categorise successful, pending, or failed transactions. For OPay, ‘RC 09’ is the code for a pending transaction for which the company does not debit its customer. However, from December 10, several cardholders made payments for pending transactions without getting debited.

“The Switching Company (Interswitch) that facilitated the said card transactions between the Applicant and its cardholders during this period inadvertently settled all the RC 09 transactions as successful,” OPay said in its filing.

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