Banks Suspend ATM Card Usage Abroad Due To Dollar Scarcity

According to report from the Punch, banks have begun suspending their Automated Teller Machine cards (debit and credit) from working overseas as dollar scarcity continues, 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 foreign currencies. The development will make students studying abroad face more challenges getting their monthly stipends from their parents. Most of the students had relied on the ATM card withdrawal to get their monthly stipends from their parents before now.

This means customers seeking to do foreign transactions will have to open domiciliary accounts and fund same with dollars, pounds or euros purchased from the parallel market at the prevailing exchange rates. Top banking officials said banks were increasingly finding it difficult to fund their foreign-currency denominated services, especially online forex transactions and overseas ATM withdrawals, as well as PoS usage overseas by customers.

One was quoted as saying: “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.” The decision came barely one week after the CBN raised concerns about what it called the indiscriminate and suspicious manner in which some bank customers were spending dollars and other foreign currencies abroad through their naira debit cards.

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