CBN defends reintroducing N65 charges on ATM withdrawals

ATM machineThe Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has denied the report that it has reintroduced charges on the use of Automated Teller Machines, ATMs.

The Director, Banking & Payments System Department of CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, told Vanguard after his remarks at the meeting held by Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum in Lagos, that was not a reintroduction.

According to him, “You have to agree with me that when the amendment was made in November 2012, it used to be a N100 for any remote-on-us withdrawal that you did. And you know that the remote-on-us is when you as a card holder goes to the ATM of a bank other than your bank to withdraw cash. It was removed then so that people would be encouraged to go to other ATMs without paying for it.

But the truth is that as we said in the circular on the Introduction of Fees on Remote-On-Us ATM Withdrawal Transactions recently, that N100 included the N35 that goes to the issuing bank, which has now been completely waived.

The issuing bank does not make any thing, but in going to other ATMs to make withdrawal , your bank, that is, the acquirer bank incurs cost of N65 which they pay to the switches and the owner of the ATM that you are using.

Continuing, he said: ”Between 2012 and recently when the review was done, it was discovered that people have actually turned ATMs into their personal purses because nothing is charged. Somebody needs N500, or N1000, he will go to ATM and withdraw, he needs N2000, he will go to ATM and withdraw, so that in a day some people can patronise ATM for up to four or ten times. That has created a huge cost burden for the banks that issue the cards.

It was becoming discouraging to them.
“So that is why we said, you can go to an ATM other than your bank ATM to withdraw up to three times and no charges would be imposed on you, but it is when you make the fourth withdrawal that you will pay the N65 that ordinarily your bank would have paid on your behalf. But of course, if you go to your bank’s ATM, the issuer, for withdrawal you can withdraw as many times as you like without being charged. So, it does not discourage financial inclusion.

You should bear in mind that when you talk of cashless regime, you are encouraging people to do their transactions electronically other than the use of cash. So it is a motivation for people to patromise the ATM. “

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