What to know about card maintenance fees

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in the 2017 ‘Guide to Charges by Banks and other Financial Institutions in Nigeria’ makes provision for financial institutions to charge N50 monthly card maintenance and N100 annually on naira debit and credit card. The guide also allows banks to charge $20 per annum on foreign currency denominated debit and credit cards.

By that guide, every debit or credit card holder will pay N600 annually as against the N100 being paid previously. Data from released recently by the Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) the central database for banking transactions in the country show that as at September 30, 2016, there were 29.24 million active cards being used by the 63 million active bank customers. In essence, bank customers in Nigeria will pay not less than N1.462 billion every month to banks as card maintenance totalling N17.544 billion annually.

All this is separate from the issuance fee of N1000. A customer that lost or misplaced their card and wants a replacement is liable for a replacement fee of N1000. The CBN also allows banks to charge a renewal fee of N1000 once a customer’s card expires.

However, almost on a daily basis, bank customers complain about incessant card maintenance charges. Among the accusations are debiting customers’ accounts more than the stipulated N50 card maintenance charges, some banks charging N52 or N52.50 instead of N50, customers without ATM cards getting debit N50 alert, charging customers twice for card maintenance in one month, new account holders getting deductions for maintenance as well and many others.

One customer recently posed a question to the CBN on their Twitter handle, “Please why do banks charge us N50 each which they call card maintenance when in actual sense I paid before getting … Read More...