Sunday, September 25, 2022

Zenith reduces international spending limit to $20 monthly; First Bank $50

Nigeria’s foreign reserve dropped to $39.86 billion at the end of February 2022, representing a 0.44 per cent decline.

• March 10, 2022

Zenith Bank Plc and First Bank of Nigeria have reduced the international spending limit on their naira cards to $20 and $50, respectively. 

On Thursday, First Bank announced that due to “current market realities on foreign exchange,” it reduced the spending limit. 

“We’ve reviewed cross-border transaction limits for the Naira Mastercard and the Naira Credit Card to $50 monthly. For increased transaction limits, please use your Visa Debit Multicurrency Card, Visa Prepaid (USD) Card and Visa Gold Credit Card to enjoy transaction limits up to $10,000 and other exciting benefits.”

In a note emailed to its customers earlier on Wednesday, Zenith added that international ATMs and point of sales (POS) transactions would be temporarily suspended. 

“Please be informed that we have temporarily suspended the use of Zenith Bank Naira cards for International Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cash withdrawals and POS transactions,” the email said. “Additionally, the monthly card International spend limit for web transactions has been reviewed from $100 to $20.” 

The financial institution said the review is in response to Nigeria’s economic realities, referring to the scarcity of foreign exchange in circulation. 

Zenith urged account holders needing a higher spend limit to approach its branches and “request for a foreign currency debit or prepaid card, which are available in US dollar, pounds and euro variants.”

In February, the United Bank of Africa (UBA) similarly lowered the international spending limit on its naira card from $100 to $20 a month. 

Data from the daily external reserve tracker from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) shows that Nigeria’s foreign reserve dropped to $39.86 billion at the end of February 2022, representing a 0.44 per cent decline compared to $40.04 billion recorded as of January.

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