Nigeria: More Nigerian Banks Limit Foreign Currency Spending on Naira Cards

Customers will not be able to spend more than $20 or $50 per month on their naira cards.

More and more Nigerian banks have reduced their monthly international spending limit on naira cards.

The banks informed their customers that they were reducing the limit from $100 to $20 or $50 per month.

This means that customers would not be able to use their naira debit cards to pay for transactions over $20 or $50 per month. This is an indication of the struggle of banks with the scarcity of foreign currency.

The United Bank of Africa (UBA) was the first to make the decision on February 24, announcing $20 as the new limit.

“As part of our promise to keep you up to date with the services, we have revised the Naira card limits for international transactions, and this will take effect on March 1, 2022,” the bank said.

“Remember that you can use your UBA card in dollars, pounds or euros for international transactions at points of sale, ATMs and on the web. If you don’t have one and want to subscribe , please visit a branch near you.”

On Wednesday, Zenith Bank informed customers that it was reducing its international spending limit on its naira cards to $20 and suspending international ATM and point-of-sale (POS) transactions.

On Friday, First Bank announced that due to “current realities in the foreign exchange market”, it had reduced its spending limit to $50.

Other banks followed on Saturday, also citing recent economic realities.

Guaranty Trust Bank, Sterling Bank, Union Bank said their new limit is also $20 per month.

Wema Bank has gone further and announced that it will end its cross-border payments with Naira cards from March 14.

Nigeria has suffered for years from an import-fueled currency crisis, but the shortage worsened in 2021, with the naira collapsing by more than 30% in one year.

At the end of February, Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $39.86 billion from $40.04 billion recorded at the end of January.