By Kayode Tokede
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said starting from September 18, 2019, customers operating bank accounts will begin to pay charges for deposits and withdrawals.
Making the announcement on Tuesday, the apex bank said that the nationwide implementation of the cashless policy will begin by March 2020.
The apex bank said that implementation of the policy would signal the imposition of charges on deposits in addition to already existing charges on withdrawals.
According to the circular signed by Director, Payments system management Department, CBN , Sam Okojere, noted that the charges would attract three per cent processing fees for withdrawals and two per cent processing fees for lodgments of amounts above N500,000 for individual accounts.
For corporate accounts, the apex bank in the circular said that Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) would charge five per cent processing fee for withdrawals and three per cent for lodgments of amounts above N3million.
The statement, however, disclosed that the charge on deposits would apply in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra, and Rivers states as well as the Federal Capital Territory.
The CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele had said the Bank “will reinvigorate our efforts at driving the cashless initiative across the country, due to the immense efficiency gains that will be derived from it, and the impact it could have on our financial inclusion drive.
“Given Nigeria’s large size, and the cost involved in building bank branches across the country, the payment department would support the spread and utilization of digital modes of transactions, so that every Nigerians will have access to financial services.
“A strong emphasis will also be placed on improving speed and efficiency of payments channels, while working to ensure that digital channels are safe and secure. This will help to build confidence in our nation’s payment system.
“In order to improve utilization rate, we will continue to ensure that payment channels are interoperable, which will enable individuals with digital devices to transact across different banks or payment modes.
“Through measures such as the cashless initiative, USSD, mobile banking agent networks and Payments Service Banks, Nigerians can expect to see significant improvement in the payment system infrastructure over the next five years.
“We will also work with NIBSS, Banks and FinTechs in developing a regulatory sandbox, This sandbox will enable us to test financial innovations by FinTechs and Banks in a controlled environment, in order to assess its impact on the growth and safety of our financial system.”