By AYO OLAYIWOLA
In order to reduce the amount of liquid cash in circulation, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would today 9th of January 2023 commence full implementation of it’s policy on cashless economy.
The cashless policy according to the CBN, would help get more of the money in circulation into the system as well as track money laundering activities.
The CBN had announced the full implementation of the cashless policy effective Monday, January 9, 2023 which places a stricter limit compared to the initial limits placed when the policy was introduced in 2012 and when the pilot stage was implemented nationwide in 2019.
According to the new directive, individual bank customers cannot withdraw more than N100,000 in cash over the counter, through ATMs or POS in a day. This amounts to N500,000 every week or N2 million in a month. For corporate customers, the withdrawal limit was placed at N5 million per week, translating to N20 million per month.
The circular, which was signed by CBN director, Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, also placed a limit of N100,000 limit on over the counter third party cheques. “Third party cheques above N100,000 shall not be eligible for payment over the counter, while extant limits of N10,000,000 on clearing cheques still subsist.”
In line with the plan of the CBN to ensure that the higher denominated notes will be used as only a store of value as only more of the lower notes will be in circulation, the apex bank had directed that, as against N1,000 and N500 notes that are dispensed by ATMs across the country, naira denominations of N200 and below only must be loaded into ATMs. This would mean that N500 and N1,000 notes can only be collected over the counter at the banking halls or at POS points.
Whilst the amount of cash that can be withdrawn over the counter had been capped at N100,000 in a day, the amount that can be taken from ATMs and Point of sale was limited to N20,000 in a day.
The apex bank, however, noted that, in compelling circumstances where cash withdrawal above the limits is required for legitimate purposes, such requests will be subject to a processing fee of three per cent and five per cent for individuals and corporate organizations, respectively.
In other to be able to exceed the limit, the apex bank said financial institutions are to “obtain the following information from the customer, at the minimum, and upload same on the CBN portal created for the purpose: Valid means of identification of the payee (National ID, International Passport, or Driver’s License), Bank Verification Number (BVN) of the payee, Tax Identification Number (TIN) of both the payee and the payer and Approval in writing by the MD/CEO of the financial institution authorizing the withdrawal.
The circular also noted that banks are to render monthly returns on cash withdrawal transactions above the specified limits to the Banking Supervision, Other Financial Institutions Supervision and Payments System Management Departments as applicable.