Nigerians will soon cry out in pain as the Central Bank of Nigeria has astronomically increased ATM card maintenance charges to a staggering 500%. Nigerian bank customers are in serious trouble as they will soon be paying more than N600 per annum for debit card maintenance fee which is currently N100.
This information is coming after the Central Bank of Nigeria released its exposure draft on the revised Guide to Bank Charges at the weekend.
While the 2013 edition of the guide had stipulated a N100 annual charge, the revised version stipulates a monthly charge of N50 which is 500% more than the former charge. This means that customers will now pay over N600 for card maintenance.
This will come as major shock for Nigerians as they are yet to cope with the harsh economy only to be forced into another hardship by the insensitive Central Bank.
The apex bank said that the review is “to ensure that the provisions of the guide accord with current realities, and also to address complaints from customers of financial services, requests for clarification on the provisions of the guide and the absence of a tariff regime for other financial institutions in Nigeria.”
Commenting on the draft, the founder of Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (CAFON) Sola Salako told LeadershipNG that “It looks like the CBN is insensitive to the plight of Nigerians who are already complaining that charges are excessive. Why should they add to the charges? If they are trying to encourage a cashless Nigeria, why would they now make it more difficult and expensive to do transactions? If this continues, we will encourage Nigerians to dump their cards and go back to cash,” she stated.
Among the charges that were revised in the exposure draft is the maintenance charge for foreign denominated cards which was increased from N3,000 to N4,200 per annum while international withdrawals was reviewed to the exact cost by international acquirer as against the current N240 per transaction. The charges for hardware token will now cost N2,500.
However, in a circular issued to all banks and other financial institutions by the CBN director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Kevin Amugo, along with the draft exposure, the apex bank called for comments which should reach it on or before March 29, 2016.