A recent move by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has seen the Apex bank re-introduce charges on ATM withdrawals. A move i would describe as another ‘policy inconsistency’
A circular to this effect titled “Introduction of Fees on remote-on-us ATM Withdrawal Transactions” was posted on CBN website yesterday and signed by Dipo Fatokun. the Director, Banking and Payment System Department.
The circular states that effective 1st of September 2014, customers who make cash withdrawals from ATMs other than the issuing bank will be charged N65. Simply explained as a customer for example who carries a Skye Bank debit card will be charged if he/she makes a withdrawal on a Zenith Bank ATM.
In previous past , a bank charge of N100 per transaction applied on withdrawals on ATMs and was later cancelled in December 2012 under the regime of the CBN Governor at that time, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Now CBN stipulates that a charge of N65 will apply to withdrawals made on ATM other than the issuing bank, a mere N35 reduction.
The directive further stated that the first 3 withdrawals in a month on other bank ATMs will be free but subsequent ones will be charged at N65 per transaction.
CBN argued that it collaborated with the bankers commitee in December 2012 to transfer the payment of N100 fee on remote-on-us’ ATM cash withdrawal transactions to issuing banks, but it has brought unintended consequences which has necessitated the new policy.
CBN also disclosed that the result of the unintended consequences of the decision has resulted in substantial cost burden incurred by banks in defraying the cost for the service, the payment structure for card carrying banks’ customers will be reviewed, in line with present realities.
ATM cash withdrawals on the ATM issuing banks shall remain at no cost to the card holder. It is also expected of banks to ensure adequate sensitization of their customers on the re-introduction of the new fee.