As the January 31, 2023 deadline of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the old and the new currency notes nears, the apex bank has encouraged Nigerians to adopt other channels of payment.
The Director, Legal Services and Legal Adviser of the CBN, Mr Sallam Alada, gave this advice on Tuesday, in Akure, Ondo State, during a monitoring exercise on Automated Teller Machines by a team from the apex bank to know if banks were loading their machines with the new naira notes.
The team visited some Automated Teller Machines galleries along Hospital road, Arakale, Alagbaka, FUTA, Oba Adesida road in Akure.
According to Alada, the cash payment was not the only medium of payment. He said there were other channels like electronic banking, e-naira, and money transfer from phones among others.
The essence of this programme is to encourage cashless. For Nigerians who don’t have access, there’s USSD where you can use a non-browsing phone to do some of these transactions. This country needs to move forward, join other nations where cash is no longer the king.
The CBN issued its vision 2025 payment system, that is a confirmation of the fact that Nigeria is ahead of many countries when it comes to development of the payment system. How well do we want to confirm that we are way ahead? The ATM card you are holding is much more sophisticated than most of the cards that we have in other countries, we need to continue to lead the way.
E-naira is another form of payment channel and CBN is actually expanding the scope of merchants that are accepting e-naira. Jump into e-naira, open your wallet, you will meet anybody in CBN to teach you how. You can open an e-naira wallet apart from your regular naira wallet where you don’t have bank accounts.
Following the directives of the CBN that only the newly redesigned new notes should be loaded into ATM, all the banks visited today whose ATMs were dispensing actually dispensed new notes. But some of the experience we had was that some banks, majority of their ATMs were not dispensing and they claimed that they ran out of money; upon enquiry by the CBN team, some of them were obliged of forced to load the machines again from the stock they had.
The critical part of this assignment now is to actually ensure that the newly introduced aspect by the CBN that is cash swap and under this arrangement, the CBN is to ensure that the underserved, under-banked will also have access to new notes and we’re leveraging on the agents to serve these people and under the programme. The maximum of N10,000 will be swapped with old notes, there will be no charges, the agents will not have charges for cash in but for cash out, the existing charges will still be there.