Banks Places Spending Restrictions On Debit Cards

Yemisi Izuora
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Banks have reviewed spending on debit cards abroad in the face of scarcity of foreign exchange (forex) in the country.

Two major banks, Stanbic IBTC and Ecobank, have issued fresh notices to their customers, on the reduction in the amount they could withdraw abroad.

The Stanbic IBTC, over the weekend, informed its customers of the new limits.

Under the reviewed term, customers with the debit master card can only spend $350 a day online or on a Point of Sale (POS) terminal as against the previous daily limit of $1000 a day.

Cash withdrawal from ATMs outside the country has also been reduced by 50 per cent from $300 a day to $150 a day.

It also announced that the total amount that could be withdrawn from any ATM abroad on a Stanbic IBTC debit master card is $750, while the total amount that could be spent online and on POS in a month is now $1,750.

Total cumulative monthly spending on all the two platforms is now only $2500.

The new lower limits came as the country’s dollar reserves keep dwindling, forcing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to implement policies aimed at slowing down the dwindling reserves. Other banks are also expected to announce similar cuts.

Also, Ecobank, in a similar notice  said the daily cash withdrawal had been reduced from $300 to $100 a day, or its equivalent in other foreign currencies when you are abroad.

Ecobank cut down all its cards limit to $100 a day. The standard card from $3000 to $100 a day (on POS/web); Gold Card from $4,000 to $100 a day (on POS/web) and Platinum card from $5,000 to $100 a day (on POS/web) with the cumulative annual spending limit for all cards to $50,000.

The scarcity of the forex shut the value of dollar last week by about 10 per cent at the parallel market.

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