Banks temporarily suspend, reviews international transaction of naira cards

Only CBN can direct us on old Naira notes — Banks

In a move to reduce dollar obligations, commercial banks in the country are cutting monthly international spending limits on Naira cards to $20 compared to the precious limit of $100.

Over the weekend, First Bank, Zenith Bank, Sterling Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Union Bank and other banks sent notices to their customers on the restrictions.

However, THISDAY gathered that only First Bank limit was $50 compared to all other banks, which restricted to $20.

This move has however suggested customers open dollar accounts to obtain cards to fund their obligations, which is expected to be sourced from the parallel market.

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Banks had in 2020 reviewed monthly international spending using naira cards from $500 to $300 and ultimately to $100 and also stopped the use of naira cards for ATM foreign currency withdrawals.

First Bank in a statement to customers stated: “Due to current market realities on foreign exchange, we’ve reviewed cross border transaction limits for the Naira Mastercard and the Naira Credit Card to $50 monthly.

“For increased transaction limits, please use your Visa Debit Multicurrency Card, Visa Prepaid (USD) Card and Visa Gold Credit Card to enjoy transaction limits up to $10,000 and other exciting benefits.”

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In a statement to its customers, Union bank stated: “Please be informed that the daily/monthly spend limit on your Naira MasterCard is now $20.

“If you require a higher international spend limit, open a UnionAce account. UnionAce offers you up to 4 per cent per annum on your dollar deposits. You also get a card that allows you to shop globally with a daily limit of $7,500 on POS and $4,000 online.”

Zenith Bank in an email titled: “Temporary Suspension of International ATM Withdrawals/POS Payments and Review of Web Transactions Limit Using Zenith Bank Cards,” to its customers, said, it is reviewing naira card spending on web transactions from $100 to $20.

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The note read; “Dear Valued Customer, Please be informed that we have temporarily suspended the use of Zenith Bank Naira cards for International Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cash withdrawals and POS transactions. Additionally, the monthly card International spend limit for web transactions has been reviewed from $100 to $20.

“This review is in response to today’s economic realities. If you have higher International spend requirements, simply visit any of our branches and request for a foreign currency debit or prepaid card, which are available in US Dollar, Pounds and Euro variants.”


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