Deposit Money Banks have commenced a process to stop all customers from using their payment cards, popularly known as Automated Teller Machine cards, for dollar-denominated transactions when they travel abroad with effect from January 1, 2016.
Investigation also revealed the banks would not allow their customers to use naira-denominated ATM cards locally for transactions denominated in forex.
This means bank customers will not be able to use their cards to buy products from foreign e-commerce sites like e-bay and amazon.com in which payments are made in forex.
The development follows the lingering scarcity of foreign exchange, especially the dollar, to settle obligations arising from customers’ use of the ATM cards for forex-denominated transactions.
Already, Standard Chartered Bank has notified its customers that from January 1, 2016, they will not be able to use their naira-denominated ATM cards for transactions that are denominated in foreign currencies, either locally or when they travel abroad.
In a notice to its customers, Standard Chartered said, “This is to notify you that from January 1, 2016, your naira card will no longer be enabled for international use. This is as a result of the limited foreign exchange supply in the financial market.”
Asked how long the suspension of cards from international transactions would be, the spokesperson for Standard Chartered Nigeria, Mrs. Dayo Adurogbo, said, “We cannot give a definite date. It depends on how soon it is available. We will do everything to meet our customers’ demand once it is available.”
Further findings showed that a number of other banks had stopped customers from using their ATM cards abroad but had yet to officially communicate this to them.
Some customers told our correspondent that when they notified their banks of plans to travel and the need to enable their cards work overseas, they were simply informed that the cards could not be enabled for now due to issues relating to forex scarcity.
Findings by Sunday Punch showed others banks might issue notices similar to that of Standard Chartered Bank before the end of the year.
“We had some discussions recently and some top bank officials said they would stop customers from using their naira-denominated cards for international transactions due to the serious challenges in getting forex to settle their international partners,” a top bank official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said on Friday.
The current situation means customers travelling abroad for Christmas and New Year may face severe payment challenges, a situation that may mar their shopping plans.
The fall in prices of crude oil, the main earner of foreign exchange for Nigeria, has made the nation’s forex income to reduce drastically, creating dollar scarcity crisis for the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The CBN has been rationing dollar to banks, importers and other forex users as the nation’s foreign exchange reserves continue to deplete, hitting $29.4bn on December 7, 2015.
The PUNCH had exclusively reported on Thursday that banks had cut the amount that their customers could spend using their debit and credit cards abroad by between 70 and 90 per cent. This took effect during the first week of December for the majority of the banks.
Specifically, banks cut customers’ card spending in foreign currencies from the annual $50,000 allowed by the CBN to between $5,000 and $15,000.
According to findings by our correspondent, Ecobank Nigeria Plc has reduced its limit from $50,000 to $5,000, with a maximum of $500 monthly and $100 daily expenditure.
Skye Bank Plc, in a notice to its customers via email, also slashed its international card spending limit from $50,000 to $12,000 annually, a maximum of $1,000 monthly and $100 daily.
Wema Bank Plc also slashed spending on its payment cards from $50,000 to $10,000 annually, $1,000 monthly and $100 daily.
Although other banks have yet to confirm their new international card spending limits, findings by our correspondent revealed that the new limits for most of them ranged from $5,000 to $15,000 annually, and $500 to $1,000 monthly.
IL Bagno Rewards High Performing staff with All-Expense Paid Trip to Dubai
IL Bagno, the leading total interior solutions company in Nigeria, for the world’s leading manufacturers of sanitary fittings, kitchen, tiles, doors, and other interior solutions recently recognised two members of its staff for their high performance and commitment to the success of the organisation.
Bosede Opebiyi and Victor Nwaogu both administration officers at IL Bagno’s Abuja and Lagos office respectively were awarded the IL Bagno excellence award based on a voting process by managers of the organization. They were both presented with a 5 day all-expense paid trip to Dubai and a commendation letter signed by the CEO.
Speaking on the award presentation, Mrs. Adetola Owolabi; Executive Director Black Pelican Group said ‘’as an organisation, we value and reward professionalism and exceptional performance. We voted the winners considered to be the most supportive and representatives of the ethos of hard work, diligence, and professionalism. They both represent the ideals of the company and go over and beyond to support other members of the team to achieve the organisations objectives. Consistent good work never goes unnoticed; I would therefore encourage others to emulate the diligence shown by them’’.
An elated Opebiyi thanked the organization for the kind gesture. ‘’I am proud to be a part of the Black Pelican Group, thank you for recognising my effort, I am motivated to do even more’’.
‘’I am truly humbled by the trust and faith placed in me, I feel compelled to work harder and improve my skills on the job’’ Nwaogu stated.
The debut award will be given twice in a year to deserving staff members voted by managers of The Black Pelican Group.
IL Bagno business is the business unit with the Black pelican Group that provides total interior solutions, it has carved a niche for being the preferred supplier of bathroom and other interior fittings to the most discerning clients and projects. The company recently celebrated its 18th anniversary.
Former Goldman Sachs Managing Director, Gurbhej Dhillon Joins Flutterwave as New the CTO
Flutterwave, Africa’s leading payments technology company, today announced the appointment of former Goldman Sachs’ Managing Director, Gurbhej Dhillon as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
Gurbhej joins at a key time for Flutterwave, following its recently completed Series D funding round, valuing the company at over USD 3 billion, and maintaining its rapid expansion.
As the new CTO, Gurbhej will be responsible for the further development of Flutterwave’s innovative technology platform which currently supports integrations with key technology partners like VISA, Mastercard, Discover Card Networks, and customers like Uber, Flywire, Booking.com etc. He will focus on improving the architecture and infrastructure, as well as providing leadership enabling other engineering and product leaders to create the best solutions that support business growth for customers.
Gurbhej joins Flutterwave from Marcus by Goldman Sachs, where he was the CTO and Head of Lending Engineering. He has extensive experience in enterprise application architecture across financial services and consumer businesses. At Marcus, he was responsible for launching platforms to significantly grow businesses while improving customer experience and established strategic partnerships with several Fortune 500 companies.
Prior to that, Gurbhej was CTO for Goldman Sachs’ Investment Banking Capital Markets team, responsible for the design, architecture, and build-out of strategic platforms that enabled clients to execute equity and debt product offerings.
Gurbhej is a great supporter of the Developer Community in Africa and admires the work they have done in recent times, building creative solutions at a world-class standard.
In his role as CTO of Africa’s leading technology company, Gurbhej hopes to support the Community to attain higher levels.
Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, Founder and CEO of Flutterwave, said: “I look forward to working closely with Gurbhej as we continue to expand rapidly. With the needs of our customers constantly evolving, we remain focused on driving further innovation across the business and continuing to develop our cutting-edge technology platform that simplifies payments and connects the African market with the world. Gurbhej’s experience and deep expertise in developing financial technology platforms will be instrumental in Flutterwave’s further growth.”
Commenting on his appointment, Gurbhej Dhillon said: “I am delighted to be joining the Flutterwave team at such an exciting time for the company. As a leading financial technology company in Africa, Flutterwave is well-positioned to capitalise on the global trends in payment digitisation and continues to drive Africa’s digital transformation, creating further opportunities for customers and merchants alike. It is a very crowded market with lots of new entrants so it is vital that we as a company continually look to innovate our products and services, improve our existing architecture and create endless possibilities for everyone.”
Bankman-Fried’s FTX Says no Talks to Acquire Robinhood
Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto exchange said it is not in talks to acquire Robinhood Markets Inc, after a report on Monday claimed the exchange was exploring such a deal.
Bloomberg News reported on Monday FTX was discussing internally how to buy the app-based brokerage and that Robinhood had not received a formal takeover approach, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
“There are no active M&A conversations with Robinhood,” Bankman-Fried said in an emailed statement.”We are excited about Robinhood’s business prospects and potential ways we could partner with them.”
Robinhood declined to comment. The retail-trading platform’s shares were down 5% in extended trading after jumping over 14% on the report.
Last month, the founder and chief executive of FTX revealed a 7.6% stake in Robinhood but said he did not have any intention of taking control of the retail-trading platform.
Robinhood’s dual-class shares give its founders control of 64% of the voting shares outstanding, making it virtually impossible for takeovers without their support.
The popular trading platform has come under pressure this year as trading volumes ease from 2021’s frenetic pace – when retail investors used it to pump money into shares of so-called meme stocks such as GameStop and AMC Entertainment.
That slowdown, along with a sell-off in high-growth technology stocks, has driven a near 50% slump in Robinhood shares this year. The company had a market valuation of nearly $7 billion as of Friday’s closing price.
FTX’s U.S. arm announced in May it would launch a stock trading platform by the end of the summer. Last week, it acquired partner Embedded Financial Technologies for an undisclosed amount, which would add custody, execution and clearing services to its equity trading platform.
FTX and its billionaire founder Bankman-Fried have rescued other players during the crypto market’s recent crash. It provided crypto lender BlockFi with a $250 million revolving credit facility to help the firm avoid a liquidity crunch.
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