Stella Dimoko Nigerian Banks Stops ATM Cash Withdrawal Abroad


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Monday, January 08, 2018

Nigerian Banks Stops ATM Cash Withdrawal Abroad

Some Nigerian banks have reportedly stopped ATM cash withdrawal by their customers abroad when they travel out of the country. 

According to a report by Punch Metro, a number of Deposit Money Banks in the country have barred their customers from using debit and credit cards to withdraw dollars, euros, pounds and other foreign currencies whenever they travel abroad, investigation by our correspondent has revealed.

The development may put business and leisure travellers, who may need hard currencies to meet some obligations abroad, in a difficult situation.

Also, students who are studying abroad and often rely on withdrawing hard currencies with their Nigerian payment cards from Automatic Teller Machines abroad to meet certain needs may find the situation challenging.

Findings revealed that the naira volatility of the past year made many of the Nigerian banks to get their fingers burnt and the fear of losing heavily to possible future currency volatility was making them to exercise restraint in reactivating overseas ATM withdrawal services for their customers.

However, some banks, which are said to be having high risk appetite and some with partner banks overseas to make settlements easier, are having a smooth ride and as such, have reactivated the ATM withdrawal service overseas.

A top banker close to the development, who spoke under the condition of anonymity said, “Each bank has various reasons for not yet activating their overseas ATM cash withdrawal service. For some banks, they ran into losses last year when the naira fell and, as such, they are trying to minimise their risks now.

“For such banks, there is no plan to reactivate it. Some others banks are not ready to reactivate the service because they are trying to check customers who are doing round-tripping. It is for various reasons that the banks are not stopping yet.”

Findings revealed that while almost all the banks allowed customers to use their payment cards to do Point of Sale and web transactions overseas, a number of them had suspended their ATM cash withdrawals without indicating when they would resume.

It was gathered that Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria were among the lenders that had suspended their ATM cash withdrawal services.

According to Punch Metro, when a call was put through to their customer service centres, the banks confirmed they had suspended the services without stating the reason and possible resumption plans.

The customer service personnel, however, said the PoS service abroad and Web services were available for customers to use.

Some bankers said that in terms of volume, Nigerian banks were spending more in overseas settlements from PoS and Web than in ATM cash withdrawal.

They said the fear of money laundering by customers was a major reason why some banks had to stop ATM cash withdrawal overseas.

They also stated that for some banks, the settlement issues they had when the dollar was scarce last year was making them to limit their card usage abroad to only PoS and Web transactions.

Following the crash in global oil prices, the drop in Nigeria’s foreign exchange revenue and the resultant dollar scarcity that hit the economy had made the local banks to suspend the ATM cash withdrawal and the PoS services abroad. They also stopped web transactions.

However, following the improvement in forex supply early this year, some banks announced the resumption of the services.

Some of the banks that have resumed full services in these area include United Bank for Africa Plc and First Bank of Nigeria Limited. Similarly, Zenith Bank Plc, Ecobank Nigeria and Skye Bank Plc have announced that their customers can do the ATM cash withdrawal, the PoS and web transactions.

But some of the banks, which have yet to resume full services, claimed that the regulator was not giving them approval to do so.


  1. This would be hard on students and visitors.

  2. These people have made Nigerians suffer right from Independence.

    When countries are saying things are working well, we are going back to hell fire to collect more fire.

    May God help all who are affected. Someone on 97.7 radio station said he was affected by it some days ago. It is well again with us

  3. Stella, I don't think this is true.
    I just collected some few pounds from my First Bank Account(Naira Account) now in London around Holloway road.
    May be other Banks

    1. Madam/oga londonaire nobody ask you weda u dey London... you for send us your flight details join abi your asylum documents..

    2. Lol. @anonymous 16:39, did you read the post? First bank isn't affected.

  4. The banks needed to do this to survive, Nigerians are too dubious.
    Remember the guy caught with 200+ ATM cards? That is what it is used for, they ho outside, withdraw dollars in cash, come back into the country and sell at black market rates.

    With the limit to POS and Web purchases, it means one has to have (to a reasonable extent) a genuine transaction. This has helped to reduce the pressure on the Naira.

    But you can load your Dollar denominated card and withdraw cash from anywhere.

    1. My friend say what you know. Withdrawer on ATM overseas is almost same as buying from black market they are charges for every transaction you make. I don't think the young man that was seen with many ATM was ready to withdraw to bring back and sell reason for me saying so is this. How much did he buy his ticket? Hotel or cab? And how do you think he was going to bring more that $10000 back in to Nigeria?

    2. Ann 17;32
      Stop it o! Banks are thieves in this country. Have you asked ur self this question . Why is it that if your sent money from overseas via western union or money gram, the stupid greedy banks gives you naira and not the original currency sent to you, what makes it worst is that they will give you at bank rate and not black market rate, but if you want to travel and you ask for hard currency they won't give you? I deposited $ in my account in 2014 and when I wanted to travel I was refused my own money all the bank said was that they don't have $ they started directing me to other branches to get my own money @ the end of the day I was paid naira I had to go to black market to buy @ the new rate compare to how much it was when I deposited in 2014 I lost over 200 naira for every $ I bought.

  5. This gonna be hard for students

  6. This government is the worst so far

  7. Too much scamming or banks don't have enough money?

  8. Oh no wonder. I had to request for money gram after trying almost all the banks


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