The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday released four new guidelines for the banking industry, top of which was an approval for bank customers to make cheque deposits into their savings accounts. Prior to this development, bank customers could only make cheque deposits into their current accounts.
The new guidelines were contained in a circular posted on the CBN website and signed by the Director, Banking and Payment System, Mr. Dipo Fatokun.
The circular, which was directed to banks and other financial institutions, was dated July 28, 2016.
Aside from this approval, the CBN also ordered banks and other financial institutions to remove fixed interest rate on credit cards.
The central bank directed the banks to henceforth begin to embed customers’ Bank Verification Numbers on their payment cards.
It also ordered the banks to discontinue actual address verification as a condition for account opening for customers with the BVN.
In approving cheque deposits into savings accounts, the apex bank limited the daily deposit to only N2m per customer in a day.
The CBN said the new guidelines were meant to strengthen the payment system and the banking sector.
The circular, with reference number BPS/DIR/GEN?CIR/03/005, read, “The Central Bank of Nigeria, in furtherance of its efforts at strengthening the Nigerian payment system, hereby issues the following directives: the removal of fixed interest on credit cards; and discontinuation of actual address verification in account openings for customers with the Bank Verification Number.
“Banks should begin to embed the BVN on all payment cards issued henceforth to facilitate off-line BVN verification and biometric-based customer authentication in such payment devices as the Automated Teller Machines, Point of Sale Terminal, kiosks etc.
“Savings account customers with the BVN should be allowed to deposit cheques not more than N2m in value into their savings account per, customer per day. Please, be guided and ensure strict compliance with the content of this circular.”
In another development, the CBN advised Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to beware of the unwholesome activities of some unlicensed International Money Transfer Operators in the country.
It said in a statement by its Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okoroafor, that the warning had become necessary because of the activities of some unregistered IMTOs, whose modes of operation were detrimental to the Nigerian economy.
Okoroafor stated, “All financial service providers in Nigeria, just as in other jurisdictions, are required to be duly licensed in order to protect both customers and the financial system as well as to ensure the credibility of financial transactions.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all licensed International Money Transfer Operators, in line with the CBN circular on the sale of foreign currency proceeds of July 22, 2016, are required to remit foreign currencies to their respective agent banks in Nigeria for disbursement in naira to the beneficiaries, while the foreign currency proceeds are to be sold to Bureaux De Change operators for onward retail to end users.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria will, therefore, not condone any attempt aimed at undermining the country’s foreign exchange regime.
“Accordingly, members of the public are advised to beware of the activities of such unregistered IMTOs for the greater economic good of Nigeria.”