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Bank stops dollar transactions using naira debit cards

As a result of the increasing scarcity of foreign exchange in Nigeria, First Bank of Nigeria has suspended the usage of the Naira Mastercard, Naira Credit Card, our Virtual card, and Visa Prepaid Naira card for international transactions.

This was revealed in an email sent to customers and titled, “Review of cross-border limit on Naira Card.”

The bank also noted that foreign transactions can only be made with dollar cards with a $10,000 maximum.

What FirstBank is saying
The Bank said, “Due to current market realities on foreign exchange, you will no longer be able to use the Naira Mastercard, Naira Credit Card, our Virtual card and Visa Prepaid Naira card for international transactions. This will take effect on 30 September 2022.”

“Please use your Visa Debit Multicurrency Card, Visa Prepaid (USD) Card and Visa Gold Credit Card to continue transacting abroad with limits of up to $10,000.” the bank added.

This news comes after First Bank of Nigeria has informed its customers that the Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA) will now be transferred to the FirstBank Travel Card.

What you should know
The black market exchange rate between the naira and the US dollar has fallen from N565/$1 at the start of the year to N705/$1, marking an N140/$ loss year so far. According to Hanke’s Currency Watchlist, the Naira is the 11th worst-performing currency against the US dollar.
Although the CBN claims that the “Race to $200 billion in FX Repatriation” (RT200 FX) has resulted in significant improvements in Nigeria’s export remittances, it should however be recall that some Nigerian companies have devised a clever way of skirting central bank guidelines to sell forex in the official market but at black market rates.
Nigeria’s economic woes are made worse by this exchange crisis as monthly inflation rates grow. Unfortunately, despite the apex bank’s best efforts, the price of the dollar has not decreased rather its keeps increasing.

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