The Central Bank of Nigeria’s cashless policy will commence on the 1st of April, 2020. To this end, some commercial banks in the country have begun issuing reminders to their customers ahead of the takeoff date.
According to a message that was sent out by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, customers will be charged for deposits and withdrawals that exceed the limits set by the Apex Bank. The extra charges will be different from the already existing charges on withdrawals. Therefore, individual bank account holders should note that for withdrawals and lodgments exceeding N500, 000, they will be charged a processing fee of 3% and 2%, respectively.
In the same vein, corporate account owners will, henceforth, be required to pay a 5% processing fee for withdrawals exceeding N3 million. They will also be required to pay a 3% processing fee for lodgments exceeding the same amount.
Recall that the cashless policy was announced in September 2019 through a circular that was issued by the CBN. As Nairametrics reported, the Apex Bank argued that the cashless policy is intended to provide safe and efficient mechanisms for sending and receiving payments with minimum risks to the CBN, payment service providers and end-users. It was also argued that going cashless would help minimise crime, whilst helping to authenticate and formalise the transactions the transaction processes.
However, the cashless policy drew widespread criticisms from Nigerians, many of whom did not even understand what exactly the cashless policy really entails. As far as these people are concerned, any extra charge for withdrawing/depositing money is not welcome.
Some professionals also constructively criticised the policy, including PwC Nigeria’s Tax Lead Taiwo Oyedele who said more advance notice should have been given to enable companies and individuals to gradually adjust to the system.