CBN slashes N65 bank ATM charges to N35

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A new guide mandating banks to charge customers N35 for cash withdrawals from other banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) has been released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The new revised Guide to Bank Charges reduced from previous N65 fee, applies after the third withdrawal within one month.

The new guideline signed by Chibuzo Efobi for CBN Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, showed a downward review for electronic banking transaction charges to align with market developments and inclusion of new sections on accountability and sanctions for defaulting banks.

The guideline, which takes effect January 1, 2020, is in furtherance of CBN’s quest to make financial services more accessible and affordable to various stakeholders in the economy.

Other major highlights of the new policy include removal of Card Maintenance Fee (CAMF) on all cards linked to current accounts, a maximum of one Naira per mille for customer induced debit transactions to third parties and transfers or lodgments to the customers’ account in other bank on current accounts only, cut in Advance Payment Guarantee (APG) now pegged at maximum of one per cent of the APG value in the first year and 0.5 per cent for subsequent years on contingent liabilities.

The charges prescribed in the guide were arrived at after extensive consultations with stakeholders and is expected to enhance flexibility, transparency and competition in the Nigerian banking industry.

CBN Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, explained that on debit card charges, the new guide stipulates that a one-off charge of N1,000 applies to the issuance of cards, irrespective of card type (regular or premium).

The same one-off charge of N1,000 applies for the replacement of debit cards at the customer’s instance for lost or damaged cards. In the same vein, upon expiry of existing cards, customers are to pay the same one-off charge of N1,000 irrespective of card type. Conversely, no charge shall be required for pre-paid card loading/unloading.

According to the policy, the current NIP charges apply to use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), purchase with cash-back will attract a charge of N100 per N20,000 subject to cumulative N60,000 daily withdrawal. Also, for cards linked to savings account, a maintenance fee has been reduced to a maximum of N50 per quarter from N50 per month amounting to only N200 per annum instead of N600.

Furthermore, there will be no more charges for reactivation or closure of accounts such as savings, current and domiciliary accounts while status enquiry at the request of the customer (like confirmation letter, letter of non-indebtedness and reference letter) will now attract a fee of N500 per request.

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