Banks suspend ATM, PoS transactions abroad

Posted by News Express | 11 March 2022 | 804 times

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Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) have announced temporary suspension of overseas Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card services and Point of Sale (PoS) transactions.

The banks’ decision followed consistent dollar scarcity and challenges faced by manufacturers and real sector operators in sourcing foreign exchange from the economy.

Zenith Bank Plc, which yesterday confirmed the development in a memo emailed to customers, said the move was in line with current economic realities.

The bank said: “Please be informed that we have temporary suspended the use of Zenith Bank Naira cards for International Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cash withdrawals and PoS transactions.

“Additionally, the monthly card 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 foreign currency debit or prepaid card, which are available in US dollar, Pounds and Euro variants.”

First Bank Nigeria Plc has also announced limit review on all dollar-based ATM and PoS transactions abroad.

In an email to customers yesterday, the bank attributed the adjustment to dollar transitions on e-payment channels to ‘market realities on foreign exchange’.

The bank said: “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.”

Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria and Guaranty Trust Bank had, few years back, announced the suspension of their overseas ATM card services.

Both banks advised their customers seeking to carry out transactions denominated in foreign exchange to apply for dollar or pounds sterling debit credit cards.

According to them, the dollar or pounds sterling debit or credit cards will be linked to the customers’ domiciliary accounts.

This is despite the fact that the banks have in the past few months reduced the monthly total amount of forex-denominated transactions that customers can do, using their naira debit or credit cards via ATMs and PoS terminals abroad as well as online payments or transactions.

Investigation showed that some banks had slashed their daily ATM withdrawal limit abroad from the $300 advised by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Bankers Committee to $100 due to their inability to source for dollars to fund the transactions.

Banking sources said banks were increasingly finding it difficult to fund their foreign-currency denominated services, especially online forex transactions and overseas ATM withdrawals, as well as PoS usage overseas by customers.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had earlier expressed concerns about the indiscriminate and suspicious manner in which some bank customers were spending dollars and other foreign currencies abroad through their naira debit cards.

To reduce forex spending abroad, the CBN directed that the $50,000 annual forex limit it imposed would be implemented and defaulters sanctioned. (The Nation)

Source: News Express

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