The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) new guidelines slashing some bank charges has been seen as a booster of cashless policy.
Capital market operators in Lagos said the downward review of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) on Dec. 22, 2019 was a step in the right direction.
The withdrawal fee charged for the use of other banks’ ATMs by 46.15 per cent to N35 from N65.
The N35 ATM fee, according to the CBN, should be imposed on customers after the third withdrawal within one month.
The directive which takes effect from Jan. 1, 2020, replaces the guide to charges by banks and other financial institutions issued in 2017.
The CBN said it might be reviewed from time to time to reflect changes in the business environment.
Speaking on the issue, Malam Garba Kurfi, the Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Ltd., described the ATM charge reduction as a good development that would boost the financial industry.
Kurfi said the reduction was necessary in line with economic realities, noting that not all banks had branches across the country.
He said that the apex bank should ensure that commercial banks comply to the directive.
Kurfi said that the CBN must mandate commercial banks not to reduce the amount customers could withdraw at a time because of the ATM charge reduction.
According to him, customers must withdraw up to N20, 000 at once in order not to defeat the aim of the initiative.
He noted that some commercial banks before now pegged withdrawal with cards of other banks at N15,000 at a time.
Mr Moses Igbrude, the Publicity Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, said that the new directive would stimulate the economy and encourage customers to do more transactions.
Igbrude said that many Nigerians prefer to keep their cash because of huge charges by commercial banks.
The shareholder activist urged the apex bank to address the N50 imposed on every PoS transaction.
He said that the recent introduction of N50 on PoS transaction was affecting the cashless policy of the apex bank.
Malam Shehu Mikail, National President Constance Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria, described the new directive as a welcome development.
Mikail said that the directive, when implemented, would encourage bank customers to abide to the cashless policy being championed by the apex bank.
He tasked commercial banks to expand their footprints across the country, especially the rural areas, for customers to buy into the cashless policy.
Mikail also called for proper enlightenment campaign for bank customers to understand the implications and benefits of the new guide to bank charges.
CBN asked banks to charge a maximum of N1 per mille for customer-induced debit transactions to third parties and transfers or lodgements to the customers’ account in other banks on current accounts only.