The race for the national roll-out of cashless policy in the country has gained additional momentum, as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday, gave an Approval-in-Principle (AIP) to three Payment Service Banks (PSBs).
Experts and stakeholders have picked holes in the implementation of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cashless policy, with the imposition of charges on cash deposits and withdrawals.
Some experts, who spoke to our correspondents in separate telephone interviews on Wednesday, said that the charges were unnecessary as they added to the burden that customers already bore.
Some other experts urged the apex bank to review downwards the cash handling charge on daily cash withdrawals that exceed N500, 000 for individuals and N3m for corporate bodies.
The apex bank had in a circular to Deposit Money Banks stated that from Wednesday, September 18, it would impose three per cent processing fees for withdrawals and two per cent processing fees for lodgements of amounts above N500, 000 for individual accounts.
For corporate accounts, the apex bank said that DMBs would charge five per cent processing fees for withdrawals and three per cent processing fee for lodgements of amounts above N3m.
The apex bank said charges were introduced to drive development and modernisation of the country’s payment system in line with the vision 2020 goal of being amongst the top 20 economies by the year 2020.
Too many charges can discourage savings
But reacting to the development, finance experts said that the move would discourage the culture of savings among Nigerians.
The Registrar, Chartered Institute of Finance and Control of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Eohoi, called for a downward review of the charges to 0.5 per cent for individuals and 1.5 per cent for corporate organisations.
He said bank customers were already suffering the burden of various charges from DMBs for carrying out various banking transactions.
He gave some of the charges as card maintenance fee, Automated Teller Machine withdrawal charge, stamp duty, Commission on Turnover and SMS alert.
Eohoi said with all these charges, it would be unfair for the apex bank to impose additional charges on cash withdrawal and deposit in a bid to promote cashless economy.
He said, “The move by the CBN to promote cashless policy is commendable because it has some benefits such as reducing the amount spent by the apex bank in cash management.
“However, the Nigerian economy is still fragile and at a time when the CBN is promoting financial inclusion, it would not be fair to impose additional charges on bank customers that are already overburdened with different types of charges from banks.