As part of efforts to strengthen the value of the Naira, which has widened, new withdrawal limits have been introduced on existing Automatic Teller
Machines (ATM) locally and foreign transactions on all existing Naira debit cards.
By the new arrangement, all ATM have Naira cash
withdrawal limit pegged at N60,000 per day while foreign currency is $300 per day, as against the former domestic withdrawal limit of N150,000 per day.
The new arrangement separated traditional ATM from MasterCard credit card, deactivating the former for overseas transactions.
Hitherto, a single ATM card serves for transactions for both domestic and abroad.
In the same vein, the restructured cards now have spending limits on POS/eCommerce (online shopping) limit at $300 (about N60,000) per day, as against earlier N2 million per day limit.
Bank customer with multiple debit cards (ATM cards), can only the one that is linked to the primary transactional account, which is the only one to be enabled for use abroad.
Before the new arrangement, such customers could transact with any of the cards that is funded.
It is expected that banks would put in place alternatives in these adjustments to address the concern of customers who are now being directed by their banks to reapply for a new card arrangement to suit their purposes.
Earlier, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc had informed its customers of its decision to reduce the daily international spending limit on their Naira
MasterCard to $300 with effect from Monday.
In a communication to the customers, the bank explained: “In view of the increased difficulty in sourcing foreign currency to settle international transactions on Naira MasterCards, we have reduced the daily international spending limit on your Naira MasterCard to $300.
“This means that you can only spend up to $300 daily when using your GTBank Naira MasterCard for international payments via POS and online.
“You will, however, continue to have the option of paying for medical bills, school fees, mortgages and credit cards using Form A, as these are eligible transactions for foreign currency. Simply visit any GTBank branch to complete a Form A along with the required documents to make these payments.”
These developments were coming on heels of a statement by Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN) on Sunday that all legitimate requests for foreign currency for eligible transactions, normally
referred to as “invisibles,” such as remittances for school fees, student maintenance allowances, BTA, PTA, medical and other eligible transactions, shall be fully met at the official/ interbank exchange rate.
A statement from the CBN added that already all the legitimate demands for such transactions through recognised channels have so far been fully met by CBN.
The statement stated: “The CBN hereby directs all authorised dealers in foreign exchange in Nigeria to henceforth treat as top priority all legitimate demand for foreign exchange for eligible transactions.
“The CBN once again advises individuals that wish to source foreign currency for such eligible transactions to approach their banks with their
legitimate demand as the CBN has made adequate provisions of foreign currency for all such legitimate and eligible purposes.
“Furthermore, holders of Naira denominated debit and credit cards shall continue to have access to the use of their cards at ATMs in any part of the world but subject to the annual limit of $50,000. ATM withdraws shall continue to be a maximum of $300 per day.”