Forex Crisis: Banks Stop Use Of Naira Debit Cards Abroad

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SAN FRANCISCO, December 19, (THEWILL) – As various stringent measures are put in place to curtail excess liabilities likely from Nigeria's foreign exchange crisis, at least two of the nation's commercial banks, Diamond Bank and Standard Chartered have announced new restrictions on the Naira debit card.

In a message that was sent to its customers, the banks alerted that they will now be unable to use their naira debit cards abroad, especially in the United Arab Emirates, UAE, China and other African countries.

The customers were advised to alternatively use the dollar-denominated debit card which will not have any limitations.

The alternative proffered by the banks is not likely to bring any relief to its customers as it is impossible to fund the dollar cards through cash lodgements, no thanks to the ban by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN on cash deposits in foreign currencies in banks.

THEWILL can report that although, all banks have limited daily withdrawals and POS transactions amid other restrictions placed on the use of naira-denominated debit cards, the banks seem to have joined other banks that have restricted the use of debit cards particularly in UAE and China, where Nigerian traders do massive business on a daily basis.

The message forwarded by Diamond bank to its customers read: “Due to the current FX market realities, please be informed that your Naira Debit Card has been restricted for usage in UAE, China and African countries.

“We encourage you to make use of the Diamond USD Dollar or Diamond GBP debit card to transact in any of the above mentioned countries and enjoy the following benefits: unlimited annual spend from your USD and GBP accounts; increased daily spend limit across all channels (WEB, POS, ATM); no conversion fee on transactions done in Card's denominated currency, and Chip and PIN protection