These Six Nigerian Banks May Suspend International Transactions on Naira Cards After First Bank

These Six Nigerian Banks May Suspend International Transactions on Naira Cards After First Bank

  • Nigerian banks have cut down the limit their customers could spend on international transactions
  • Most of the banks reduced their customers’ spending limit from $100 to $20 in line with a CBN directive
  • About six Nigerian banks may join the First Bank to suspend their naira debit cards and other cards for international transactions

Recently, First Bank of Nigeria staed that its customers would not be able to use its Naira Mastercard, Naira Credit Cards, virtual cards and Visa Prepaid Naira card for international transactions beginning September 30, 2022.

First Bank customers used their naira debit cards to perform international transactions up to N20 dollars every month until the recent announcement.

Naira cards, debit cards, transactions
Nigerian banks to suspend transactions on debit cards Credit:peeterv
Source: Getty Images

First Bank took the initial step

According to a statement by First Bank, it asked its customers to use its Visa Debit Multicurrency Card, Visa Prepaid dollar Card and Visa Gold Credit Card for international transactions with limits of up to $10,000.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) hinted that it would halt the sale of foreign exchange to banks by the end of the year.

Reports say the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, stated that the era of bank customers hoarding dollars and other foreign currencies is ending. He said the time could be by the end of 2022.

The exchange rate between the naira and the dollar at the black market or parallel market has risen to N712 per dollar since the start of the year, leading to an N140 per dollar depreciation this year.

The increase in the exchange rate has affected the Nigerian economy, not only the financial services sector. As a result, financial institutions in Nigeria are putting measures in place to mitigate inflationary pressures of currencies and their effect.

First Bank will not be the only bank in the country to stop international transactions on most of their cards.

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Some of these banks have cut down the number of dollars their customers spend in a month as the naira depreciates. As a result, they could also suspend their international transactions.

Other follow

The banks that may suspend international transactions on Naira cards are:

UBA: The bank was the first to limit its international trades in February 2022. It reduced international transactions from $100 to $20.

Zenith Bank announced it was reducing its international transaction limits from $100 to $20 in March this year. It also put a stop to its global ATM operations and POS transactions.

GTB: The bank reduced its international spending limit from $100 to $20 in March this year.

Sterling Bank: In March, the bank swiftly issued a statement cutting international transactions from $100 to $20 monthly.

Union Bank: The bank cut its spending limit from $100 to $20 in March this year.

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The banks’ decisions stemmed from CBN directives which the apex bank says are to forestall money laundering and maintain forex liquidity.

CBN begins arrest of Nigerians selling new naira notes at weddings, other event centres, lists punishments reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria, alongside other security agencies, have intensified efforts to arrest Nigerians selling new Naira notes.

Already Officials of the Department of State Services, in conjunction with CBN, and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, have arrested 14 persons, including a lady.

Those arrested were charged with illegally selling new naira notes in the streets of Kano state, ThisDay reports.


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