The battle to defend the Naira against the dollar persists as the CBN wages on and Nigerian banks have now lowered the ATM cash withdrawals for both domestic and foreign transactions for cards denominated in Naira and foreign currency. The new cash limit on daily ATM withdrawals is now 60,000 NGN or 300 USD, down from 150,000 NGN per day.
This developing situation has put a bar between traditional ATM cards and MasterCard credit card where the former can no longer be used for international online transactions and the latter has POS/online transactions (eCommerce) pegged at 300 USD daily and 50,000 USD annually, down from the 2 million NGN daily limit.
But some banks have taken a new approach to help out Naira denominated users. For instance, Standard Chartered Bank has asked its customers that need the cash withdrawals limit restored back to normal – 150,000 NGN daily ATM cash withdrawals and 2 million NGN daily POS/online purchase – for their own domestic purchases in Naira to request for a complementary ATM card which will be denominated in NGN
The bank also required their customers to apply for a foreign currency denominated ATM linked to their domiciliary account which would be enabled with no daily or annual international transaction limits.
Sourcing dollars for daily transactions has been made difficult since the CBN started its campaign to stabilize the price of the Naira to the Dollar. However, the CBN has made enough dollars available for legitimate foreign transactions tagged as “invisibles,” such as school fees, student maintenance allowances, business travelling allowance and personal travel allowance, medical and other eligible transactions which shall be fully exchanged at the official/interbank exchange rate.
Individuals that have legitimate demands for foreign currency are advised to approach their banks with their request and the necessary documents.