GTBank, others raise dollar limit on Naira debit cards

By Odunewu Segun

Nigerians, who do frequent dollar transactions, now have cause to smile as commercial banks in the country have raised dollar limits on Naira debit cards, National Daily has gathered.

Recall that last year, in the wake of acute dollar shortage, and in an attempt to stabilize the Nigerian currency, commercial banks had reduce withdrawal limits on ATM’s and foreign transactions on Naira debit cards.

As part of measures to manage the demand for foreign exchange at the peak of the dollar crisis, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a memo instructing banks to reduce the dollar limits on Naira debit cards to $100 a month.

The upward review, National Daily gathered is not unconnected with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention effort that has seen enough liquidity in the system.

The recent uptick in oil prices and production volumes, in the country has also led the apex bank to relax the tight controls, and introduce various windows for access to foreign exchange by both individuals and companies.

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GTbank has raised monthly dollar spending limit on its Naira debit card from $100 to $1000. The money can only be spent through POS and online channels while cash withdrawals are still not authorized.

A representative of Ecobank quoted in a report, also confirmed the increase in card limit.

Ecobank also last year 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.

According to findings by National Daily, banks would make more income from dollar spending by customers with the new rules. Also, the disparity in parallel market and bank rates may lead to customers buying dollars from the unofficial market to fund their dollar accounts.