Why FirstBank is suspending international transaction on naira cards

FirstBank First Bank of Nigeria Limited

First Bank of Nigeria Ltd has announced that effective from September 30 its naira cards will no longer be used for international transactions.

In a mail to its customers on Wednesday, the bank said that its Naira Mastercard, Naira Credit Card, our Virtual card, and Visa Prepaid Naira card will no longer serve customers hoping to use them for international transactions.

The decision is due to current market realities on foreign exchange, the bank said.

It urged its customers to use Visa Debit Multicurrency Card, Visa Prepaid (USD) Card and Visa Gold Credit Card to continue transacting abroad with limits of up to $10,000.

Customers can still use dollar, pounds or euro cards for international POS, ATM and web transactions.

Prior to this time, customers could use their naira debit cards to pay for any transactions but not more than $20 or $50 in a month.

FirstBank had in March joined other banks to reduce their monthly international spending limit on naira cards.

At the time, several banks also reduced their monthly international spending limit on naira cards. The United Bank of Africa (UBA) was first to take the decision on February 24 when it announced $20 as its new limit.

Zenith Bank informed its customers at the time that it was reducing its international spending limit on its naira cards to $20 and it was suspending international ATMs and point of sales (POS) transactions.

Guaranty Trust Bank, Sterling Bank, Union Bank also said their new limit was $20 a month, while Wema Bank went a step further to end cross-border payments with Naira cards starting March 14.