First Bank Suspends International Transactions On Naira Cards, Other Banks May Follow.

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First Bank of Nigeria says it will suspend international transactions on its naira Mastercard from September 30.

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In March, financial institutions reduced the international spending limit on naira cards from $100 to $20 monthly.

In a recent statement to its customers, the bank said such transactions would not be available on its naira credit card, virtual card and visa prepaid naira card.

“Due to current market realities on foreign exchange, you will no longer be able to use the Naira Mastercard, Naira Credit Card, our Virtual card and Visa Prepaid Naira card for international transactions. This will take effect on 30 September 2022,” First Bank said.

Several banks also reduced their monthly international spending limit on naira cards. The United Bank of Africa (UBA) was first to take the decision on February 24 when it announced $20 as its new limit.

Zenith Bank informed its customers at the time that it was reducing its international spending limit on its naira cards to $20 and it was suspending international ATMs and point of sales (POS) transactions.

Guaranty Trust Bank, Sterling Bank, Union bank also said their new limit was $20 a month, while Wema Bank went a step further to end cross-border payments with Naira cards starting March 14.

Nigeria has suffered an importation-fuelled foreign exchange crisis for years, but the scarcity worsened in 2021 with Naira crashing over 30 per cent in one year. Currently, black market exchange rate between the naira and the US dollar stands at N705/$1.

In a mail to its customers earlier on Wednesday, the bank clarified that its Naira Mastercard, Naira Credit Card, our Virtual card, and Visa Prepaid Naira card will no longer serve customers hoping to use them for international transactions.

It urged its customers to use Visa Debit Multicurrency Card, Visa Prepaid (USD) Card and Visa Gold Credit Card to continue transacting abroad with limits of up to $10,000.

Customers can still use Dollar, Pounds or Euro cards for international POS, ATM and web transactions.

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