First Bank announce stoppage of dollar transaction on naira cards

FirstBank Nigeria has announced the stoppage of all international transactions on naira denominated cards due to the forex scarcity in the country.

A notification sent to customers reads “Effective 30 September 2022, your Naira card will no longer be enabled for international transactions. Kindly obtain a USD card at the nearest branch.”

Customers used to be able to make international transactions with their local Naira card until the banks started limiting that transaction amount to $20 per card monthly. Naira cardholders could simply make dollar purchases and the Naira equivalent at the official CBN rate will be deducted from their account. Now with this complete suspension, customers who need dollars but have no access to it will have to rely more on the blackmarket.

How to buy dollars with Naira?

This Firstbank announcement will not be the only bank to completely suspend dollar transactions on their Naira card, others too will follow. Luckily, there are ways you can buy dollars with Naira even if you don’t earn in dollars.

The simplest method is to open a domiciliary account and fund it by buying dollars from bureau de change dealers popularly called Aboki. This dealers offer their services in every major Nigerian city.

There are companies that offer dollar virtual card services online. For a fee, they will provide you with a dollar card that can be used to make online payments only. They charge the black market exchange rate plus service fee. These companies include Barter by Flutterwave, Vella Finance etc.

You can also buy dollars directly into your domiciliary account from Kiakiafx, they sell at the black market rate plus service charge. The banks do not sell dollars to customers because they have to sell at CBN regulated price which is scarcely available.

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