First Bank of Nigeria says international transactions on its naira MasterCard will be suspended by September 30th, 2022.
In a recent email that First Bank sent to its customers, the bank stated customers will no longer be able to perform international transactions on First Bank Naira credit card, virtual card and visa prepaid card.
The message read, “Due to current market realities on foreign exchange, you will no longer be able to use the Naira Mastercard, Naira Credit Card, our Virtual card and Visa Prepaid Naira card for international transactions. This will take effect on 30 September 2022,” First Bank said.
The message added that customers can only use their multicurrency and other permitted cards to make international transactions.
“Please use your Visa Debit Multicurrency Card, Visa Prepaid (USD) Card and Visa Gold Credit Card to continue transacting abroad with limits of up to $10,000.” The statement concluded.
It could be recalled that in July 2022, Standard Chartered Bank also suspended international transactions on its naira visa debit card.
Other banks that have suspended international transactions on naira cards include Flutterwave, Eversend and other financial technology platforms.
The forex scarcity has forced many banks to reduce international transactions to $20 on Naira cards due to the ongoing foreign exchange scarcity in Nigeria.
The reduction started in 2020 from $500 to $100 in 2021. In March 2022, many financial institutions subsequently reduced international transactions on naira cards to $20.
At the 364th Bankers Committee Meeting in Abuja in 2021, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele disclosed that the apex bank will stop supplying foreign currency to Deposit Money Bank (DMBs) otherwise known as commercial banks by the end of the year. He, therefore, urges them to source for their foreign exchange from export proceeds.