Nigerian banks suspend ATM, PoS transactions abroad

Written by on March 11, 2022

Banks based in Nigeria have suspended the use of their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards (debit and credit) outside the country.

Automated Teller Machines-Xinhua

Bank customers, as of Friday, are also no longer able to conduct online transactions priced in foreign currencies, including U.S. dollars, euros, and the British pound.

Customers of Nigerian banks, including Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria and Guaranty Trust Bank received the bad news on Thursday.

Customers learned their international transaction limits were being reduced to as low as 20 dollars for certain banks, the lowest in several years.

In a note to its customers, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria said the action was “due to the current volatility in the foreign exchange market.”

Nigeria is also dealing with a severe shortage of foreign currency, particularly U.S. dollars.

Nigeria’s foreign reserves were down by 1.60 percent between December 2021, (40.52 billion USD) to March 2, 2022 (39.87 billion).

The development will make Nigerian students in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Ukraine and other parts of the world face more challenges getting their monthly stipends from their parents.

This means customers seeking to do foreign transactions will have to open and fund domiciliary accounts with dollars, pounds or euros purchased from the parallel market at the prevailing exchange rates.

The decision to suspend overseas use of Nigerian bank ATM cards comes following concerns expressed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) about the indiscriminate and suspicious manner in which some bank customers were spending dollars and other foreign currencies abroad through their naira debit cards.

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