The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has again placed more restrictions on the use of Automated Teller Machine, ATM, card’s (debit and credit) overseas, as dollar scarcity continues to hit the economy badly.
The development is coming at a time when foreign exchange crisis had adversely affected the nation’s local currency with Deposit Money Banks, DMBs, announcing the suspension of overseas ATM services, and online transactions denominated in foreign currencies.
Some of the banks who have announced their suspension include: Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Nigeria, and Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB, among others.
Other platforms suspended by the banks include, online transactions priced in foreign currencies.
The implication of the restriction, is that customers will no longer be able to use their debit or credit cards to make online transactions that are denominated in dollars, euros, pounds sterling, and other foreign currencies.
This according to Business Experts, will adversely affect businesses across the country, as most deals and payment are sealed online.
The banks, had in a SMS to its customers on Friday, entitled: ‘Suspension of International Transactions on Naira Debit Cards’, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria said, “Please be informed that effective immediately, your Naira denominated Debit Cards, will no longer be functional for international transactions.
”This is due to the current volatility in the foreign exchange market.
“Your Naira-Denominated Debit Cards can only be used for local transactions at Point of Sale Terminals, Automated Teller Machines, and online for Nigerian retailers.”
For Stanbic IBTC Bank, the message said, “Dear customer, kindly note that effective October 18, 2016, your ability to carry out transactions priced in foreign currency using our Naira Debit and Credit Cards, will be suspended. We apologise for any inconvenience in this regard.”
GTBank in its own message, also announced the suspension of the ATM cash withdrawal service abroad. The lender also slashed its monthly ATM forex transactions, to $100.
It said, ‘Review of the International Spending Limit on your Naira Master Card’, the bank stated, “We write to inform you of the monthly spending limits currently applicable when using your GTBank Naira Master Card for international payments, via PoS and online.
“Previous monthly limit via PoS and online was $250; the new monthly limit via PoS and online, is now $100. Kindly note that ATM cash withdrawal on your Naira MasterCard is now only available in Nigeria,” GTBank said.
Presently, the development has sparked tension across board, as it would make students studying in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Ukraine, and other parts of the world, to face more challenges getting their monthly stipends, from their parents.
Since the earlier restrictions, most of the students had relied on the ATM card withdrawal, to get their monthly stipends from their parents.
Henceforth, customers seeking to do foreign transactions, will have to open domiciliary accounts, and fund same with dollars, pounds, or euros, purchased from the parallel market, at the prevailing exchange rates.
As of last week, findings showed that some banks had slashed their daily ATM withdrawal limit abroad, from the $300 advised by the CBN Bankers Committee, to $100, due to their inability to source for dollars to fund the transactions.