Until about four years ago, precisely January 2012, Nigeria was essentially a cash based economy. Then, the banks had to contend with high volume of transactions, which resulted in long queues at banking halls. The queues alone made banking difficult, to the extent that many Nigerians decided to remain unbanked.
However, with the introduction of cashless policy, which signaled the adoption of electronic banking, through Automated Teller Machine (ATM), Point of sale (POS) and others, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intended to bring banking hall and banking services close to the people, even in the comfort of their homes.
With the cashless policy, there were expectations of improved ...view middle of the document...
The new policy on cash-based transactions (withdrawals) in banks, aims at reducing (NOT ELIMINATING) the amount of physical cash (coins and notes) circulating in the economy, and encouraging more electronic-based transactions (payments for goods, services, transfers, etc.).
The following aspects of the policy was applied from January 1st 2012 in Lagos State (tagged Cash-less Lagos):
* Only CIT licensed companies is allowed to provide cash pick-up services. Banks will cease cash in transit lodgment services rendered to merchant-customers in Lagos State from December 31st 2011. “Any Bank that continues to offer cash in transit lodgment services to merchants shall be sanctioned”.
* 3rd party cheques above N150, 000 shall not be eligible for encashment over the counter. Value for such cheques shall be received through the clearing house.
The service charge took effect from March 30th, 2012, this gave people time to migrate to electronic channels and experience the infrastructure that has been put in place. Banks were to use this period as grace to encourage their customers to migrate to available electronic channels, and where possible, demonstrate the costs that will accrue to those that continue to transact high volumes of cash from March 30th, 2012 in Lagos State.
In addition, below are some detailed context and pertinent clarifications on the policy:
* The pilot was run in Lagos State from January 2012 while the policy took effect in Rivers, Anambra, Abia, Kano, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the 1st July, 2013. The policy will be implemented nationwide on July 1st, 2014.
* The cash-policy applies to all accounts with exception to Government revenue generation account, Primary Mortgage Institutions, Microfinance Banks and Embassies. Banks should therefore work with their corporate customers to arrange for suitable e-collection options.
* The limits are cumulative daily limits each for withdrawal (e.g. for Individuals, the daily free withdrawal limit is N500,000).
* The limits apply to the account so far as it involves cash, irrespective of channel (e.g. over the counter, ATM, 3rd party cheques cashed over the counter, etc) in which cash is withdrawn (e.g. if an individual withdraws N450,000 over the counter, and N150,000 from the ATM on the same day, the total amount withdrawn by the customer is N600,000, and the service charge will apply on N100,000 - the amount above the daily free limit). The limit also applies to cash brought through CIT companies, as the CIT Company only serves as a means of transportation.
* The charges started to apply from March 30th 2012 in Lagos, October 1st 2013 in Rivers, Abia, Anambra, Ogun, Kano and the FCT.
* The service charge for daily withdrawals above the limit into an account shall be borne by the account holder.
* Please note that the policy does not prohibit withdrawals above the stipulated amounts, but that such transactions will be subject to cash...