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Re-introduction of ATM charge won’t discourage financial inclusion – CBN

By on August 20, 2014

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has faulted critics of its N65 charge on use of Automated Teller Machine.

The apex bank in a statement on Wednesday said the policy won’t discourage its drive for financial inclusion.

The apex bank had last week issued a new directive for the reintroduction of the charge two years after it abolished the N100 per withdrawal fee.

It noted that instead of N100 per withdrawal, customers using other banks’ ATMs will from September 1, pay N65.

In the statement, the CBN said the measure was taken in order to ensure that ATMs across the country continue to function to the satisfaction of all bank customers.

The statement signed by the Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Ibrahim Mu’azu said the N100 was never removed, noting that it was only transferred to customer’s bank to pay.

This, it added, was intended to encourage and promote the use of ATMs nationwide, noting that having sufficiently raised customers awareness, the first three “Remote-on-Us” transactions in a month are free.

It said, “The charge is not intended to discourage financial inclusion. The CBN will not endorse any anti-customer policy. Charging of fees on interbank networks is a widely acceptable practice globally.”

It said the reasons for ATM charges is to ensure customers get better services, increase healthy competition among the banks.

It also said transaction volumes at other banks’ ATM have increased astronomically due to the free Cash withdrawal at other banks’ ATM.

The wear and tear as well as the frequency of servicing the ATMs, it added have increased significantly.

It said, “Indeed, some Customers were beginning to abuse the use of ATMs through countless daily withdrawals. This development has led to increase in cash transactions, which negate the Bank’s Cash-less policy.

” Maintaining ATM is expensive and it requires economic incentive for owners to deploy and maintain these machines. If a part of this cost goes unabated, the banks may be forced to reject transactions coming from their customers at another bank ATMs, thereby frustrating the interoperability of payment systems.”

The bank in the statement reassure the public that the long term interests and welfare of all bank customers remain the goal of all banking policies.