Nigerian Banks Suspend ATM Cash Withdrawal Abroad
There is a report that banks in Nigeria have suspended all cash withdrawals from overseas Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), except for customers whose cards are linked to domiciliary accounts funded locally.
The Nation is reporting that the banks have also been encouraging travellers to open and fund dollar accounts, which aside having no spending limits, provide them the flexibility to spend at all times.
It was learnt that the lenders are also raising their card spending limits on Point of Sale (PoS) and online card transactions abroad, an indication of increased dollar liquidity and rising exchange rate stability.
The news outlet reports that at the weekend, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) raised their monthly card spending limit on overseas PoS and online transactions from $1,000 to $3,000 and around $2,000 to $5,000.
GTBank informed its customers of the increase via email:
“We would like to inform you that our monthly spending limit on your GTBank Naira MasterCard has been reviewed to $3,000 from $1,000 for your international online and PoS transactions. Kindly note that international ATM cash withdrawal is still restricted,” it said.
In the same vein, FCMB told its customers via an email at the weekend that:
“Clothing, shoes, electronics, books…whatever your needs are FCMB Naira Debit Card gives you instant full access to $5,000 monthly to shop online.”
Many banks, which announced the suspension of their overseas ATM card services in October 2016, have all lifted the suspension and raised monthly transaction volumes for customers on foreign currency-denominated deals, including those conducted on PoS machines and online.
The dynamics changed in April last year when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the Investors’ & Exporters’ (I&E) Forex window which has so far attracted over $53.9 billion to the economy. The dollar inflows have helped to strengthen the naira against the greenback and brought stability to the forex market.