Banks abandon uniform ATMs, OTC transaction policy

For bank customers, it is different strokes for different folks in accessing cash.
This followed the banks’ failure to implement uniform cash withdrawal policy across their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Over-the-Counter (OTC) and other transaction channels.

While some banks are raising the daily limit on ATM transactions by over 400 per cent, others are cutting the limit by almost the same margin.

The practice has made it difficult for some bank customers to access the cash needed for their daily use and businesses.

While Zenith Bank Plc raised the limit of cash withdrawals on ATMs to N200,000 daily, other banks’ ATMs can only pay between N20,000 and N40,000 daily.

“You can perform cash withdrawals of up to N200,000 per day, at Zenith Bank Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) nationwide, even if you bank with other financial institutions,” the bank announced in an emailed note to customers.

It added that the N500,000 weekly cashless policy withdrawal limit for individuals still applies.

Read Also : Banks ration cash at ATMs, over-the-counter transactions
Aside from Zenith Bank, other lenders also operate diverse rules on cash withdrawals.


At the Fidelity Bank Plc branch in Ibeju-Lekki Lagos, the bank’s ATMs were set at N5,000 per withdrawal, and customers are allowed to withdraw a maximum of N40,000 per day.

Lagos-based entrepreneur and Managing Director of Countryside Communication, Johnson Okanlawon, said commercial banks in Akowonjo, Lagos are restricting daily cash withdrawals on ATMs to between N20,000.00 and N40,000.

He said many of the banks are also not able to pay N500,000 daily cash withdrawals for OTC transactions as directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Many of the banks are paying N50,000 and N100,000 for over-the-counter transactions per day. It is really difficult to get cash from some banks these days,” he said.

Okanlawon said many of the banks complained about the rising cost of accessing cash from the CBN.

A manager with an old-generation bank in Lagos said banks pay around N500,000 for the logistics of moving cash from the CBN to their branches, and many banks are not ready to bear the costs.

He said: “It costs money to bring money to branches. We are relying on cash deposits from customers, which are not forthcoming. We wish these costs are avoidable.

“In many cases, we call business owners with huge cash receipts to bring cash and we pay them cheaper rate, instead of making cash requisition officially.”

Under the cash withdrawal limit policy, the CBN had placed cash withdrawal limits of a maximum of N500,000 weekly on individuals and a maximum of N5million weekly on corporate entities.

The implementation of the policy has been chaotic as the shortage in cash supply created a scarcity of cash across the country.

However, such cash rationing has not been implemented by banks in Abuja and Rivers State.

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