Pendum

Following a directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria, some of the country's banks have discontinued the practice of charging for ATM transactions, but many banks have yet to fall in line with this component of Nigeria's cashless policy.

The new policy was supposed to have taken effect on Nov. 13, when bankers voted to discontinue the N100 (63 cents) fee for inter-bank transactions. An extension to Dec. 17 was granted when some banks complained that they could not retool their software systems that quickly.

However, one disgruntled financial industry stakeholder told Nigeria's Guardian News that delays in implementation were driven by profit motives rather than operational mechanics.

"If the policy was in their favor, it would not have taken them a whole day to install the software," said the source, who preferred to remain anonymous.

The removal of ATM fees is intended to bring unbanked Nigerians into the nation's financial system, and also to encourage citizens to make more frequent trips to the ATM for small amounts of cash instead of carrying large sums, which makes them targets for crime.

For more on this topic, visit the regulatory issues research center.

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