The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced a reduction in fees for electronic banking operations in its published guidelines to banks and other financial institutions.
This was stated on Monday, January 31, in the amended guideline which was first published in 2004 and revised in 2013, 2017, and 2020, was signed by Chibuzor Efobi, Director of the CBN’s Financial Policy and Regulation Department.
According to the CBN, the guideline applies to charges made by banks, both financial and non-financial, under its license or regulation.
According to the document, the CBN has reduced the fees for certain transactions such as Standing Order Charge (In-Branch), ATM Management Fees, Electronic Fund Transfers, and Bulk Payments, among others.
In the most recent release, the CBN stated that the standing Standing Order Charge for intra-bank transfers will be free, as opposed to the N300 in the 2017 guideline.
Bill Payment (Including Bill Payment via Other E-channels) is Negotiable subject to a maximum of N500 per beneficiary payable by sender, a review from N1,200 or 0.75 percent for a biller or merchant to pay.
Electronic funds transfer charges have also been reduced to N10 for transactions under N5000; N26 for transactions between N5001; and N50,000, and N50 for transactions above N50,000.
After the third withdrawal within the same month; withdrawals from other banks’ ATMs have been reduced from N65 to N35.
In addition, the CBN reduced ATM bill payment from N100 to N50. In the new policy, debit card maintenance fees of N100 per month have been eliminated.
The CBN, on the other hand, stated that financial institutions that violate any of the new guide’s provisions; would face a fine of N2,000,000 per infraction or as determined by the CBN from time to time.
“Where a bank is found to have wrongfully imposed a particular charge on its customers; the provision of Section I above shall apply to the charge on each customer,” it stated.
“Failure to comply with the CBN’s directive in respect of any infraction; shall result in a further penalty of N2,000,000 daily; until the directive is complied with or as determined by the CBN.”
“Banks are required to log into the Consumer Complaints Management System every complaint received from their customers; and to generate a unique reference code for each complaint lodged; which must be given to the customer.”
Some of the major electronic charges are highlighted below:
- The annual fee for cards denominated in foreign currency (FCY) has been reduced from $20 to $10.
- ATM fees are reduced from N65 to N35 after the third withdrawal in a month.
- Instead of the previous maximum charge of N3,500, the fee for hardware tokens; will be based on cost recovery, with a maximum charge of N2,500.