Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bank Customers Unhappy With N65 ATM Charge

ATMs have become popular in Nigerian cities

The Central Bank of Nigeria has a lot of explaining to do over this policy...

Bank customers grumble as N65 ATM charge kicks off

Mixed reactions yesterday trailed the reintroduction of  banks the N65 charge on remote-on-us Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). The Central Bank had in a circular to the banks stated that the reintroduction of remote-on-us ATM cash withdrawal would now be N65 per transaction as against the former N100 per transaction, suspended in December 2012.

A cross-section of banks’ customers who spoke to Daily Sun in Lagos expressed displeasure over the development as some of them have already been debited N65 today for exceeding the targeted transactions on other banks’ ATMs.

While some customers felt that the fees charged for the ATM remote-on-us usage should be further reduced to between N35 and N50, others argue that the fees should be proportional with the amount withdrawn by the customer.

A customer, who preferred to be addressed as Musa condemned the policy, describing it as anti-people and a demonstration of lack of foresight.

He said, “it is not a welcome development to the masses. I think it is only in Nigeria that this kind of zigzag policy is happening. How on earth will a CBN introduce a policy to protect and reduce the sufferings of its people and then later, after a change of one person in the CBN, the same set of people that agreed on that policy will now reverse the policy?

“What benefit will they get in making people suffer and why are our leaders not analysing situations before they introduce harsh economic policies that always make people lose confidence in them. How can the reintroduction of that policy strengthen our economy?”

President of National Association of Nigeria Traders, Ken Okoaha, in his reaction said: “As far as traders are concerned, this is a reverse gear on the cashless drive of the CBN. We believe the current situation should prevail until such a time when we generally embrace cashless policy.”

Also speaking, Vincent Dauda, a customer of one of the commercial banks in the county, noted that he regretted the policy summersault of the CBN, saying, “I used to have very high regards for the CBN but recently I have had reasons to suspect that they are no longer thorough with their fiscal policy responsibility.

“Firstly, they asked banks to withdraw ATM from public locations and they complied. Shortly after, they said the banks can now deploy, then they stopped what we felt was an exorbitant charge. What does this suggest? Failure of feasibility study by the CBN, period.”

Meanwhile, the apex bank and the Bankers Committee stated that the decision was in the economic interest of the country, as the removal of the charges had a negative effect on the cashless policy.

“The wear and tear as well as the frequency of servicing the ATMs has increased significantly. Indeed, some customers were beginning to abuse the use of ATMs through countless withdrawals. This development has led to increase in cash transactions, which negates the bank’s cashless policy,” the CBN said in a circular.

According to the CBN, if a part of this cost goes unabated, the banks may be forced to reject transactions coming from their customers at other banks’ ATMs, thereby frustrating the inter-operability of payment

Source: The Sun

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