The Deposit Money Banks have announced the suspension of overseas Automated Teller Machine card services and online transactions denominated in foreign currencies.
Deposit Money Banks have begun suspending their Automated Teller Machine cards (debit and credit) from working overseas as dollar scarcity continues to hit the economy badly.
Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria and Guaranty Trust Bank on Friday announced the suspension of their overseas ATM card services.
Also suspended by the banks are online transactions priced in foreign currencies. This means that customers of the banks will no longer be able to use their debit or credit cards to make online transactions that are denominated in dollars, euros, pounds sterling and other foreign currencies.
In a note to its customers on Friday entitled: ‘Suspension of international transactions on naira debit cards’, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria said:
Please be informed that effective immediately, your naira denominated debit cards will no longer be functional for international transactions. This is due to the current volatility in the foreign exchange market. Your naira-denominated debit cards can only be used for local transactions at Point of Sale terminals, Automated Teller Machines and online for Nigerian retailers.
In a text message to its customers on Friday, Stanbic IBTC Bank similarly said:
Dear customer, kindly note that effective October 18, 2016, your ability to carry out transactions priced in foreign currency using our naira debit and credit cards will be suspended. We apologise for any inconvenience in this regard.
GTBank also announced the suspension of the ATM cash withdrawal service abroad. The lender also slashed its monthly ATM forex transactions to $100.
In a notice to customers on Friday entitled ‘Review of the international spending limit on your naira Master Card’, the bank stated:
We write to inform you of the monthly spending limits currently applicable when using your GTBank naira Master Card for international payments via PoS and online. Previous monthly limit via PoS and online was $250; the new monthly limit via PoS and online is now $100. Kindly note that ATM cash withdrawal on your naira MasterCard is now only available in Nigeria.”
A top official of Deposit Money Bank, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, explained that:
We have to stop the services. Formerly, we were sourcing forex at high prices and we were selling same to customers at similarly high prices. But the situation is now tense; the dollar scarcity has assumed a new dimension. This is coupled with the fact that some bank customers are using the platforms to do round-tripping. It is high time we stopped it.