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Tech implications of Naira cards international transaction restriction

Tech implications of Naira cards international transaction restriction

Ahead of the September 30 deadline given by First Bank of Nigeria regarding international transaction suspension on Naira cards, see some of the implications for the tech world.

In a notice sent to users, the most reputable financial institution in Nigeria, First Bank, said that their Naira debit cards would no longer work for international transactions.

“Due to current market realities on foreign exchange, you will no longer be able to use the Naira Mastercard, Naira Credit Card, our Virtual card and Visa Prepaid Naira card for international transactions. This will take effect on 30 September 2022,” the statement read. “Please use your Visa Debit Multi Currency Card, Visa Prepaid (USD) Card and Visa Gold Credit Card to continue transacting abroad with limits of up to $10,000.”

One of the first implications that come to mind is that brands relying on foreign companies for marketing purposes may find it difficult to navigate the new hurdle. For example, payment for Facebook posts boost, Twitter promotion, and Google ads will no longer work.

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Also, streaming companies that still charge in USD may see their Nigerian revenue tank. However, a colleague claims that your Netflix payment renewal may not be at stake because it is charged in Naira, which could mean that YouTube Music would also not be affected.

There are also several other services like Adobe software, Canva (for design), Hootsuite (for social media management), and so on that many Nigerians in tech rely on and use to execute their duties. Renewing a subscription for some of these services with your Naira debit card may be impossible.

Before First Bank’s notice, Standard Chartered Bank had suspended international transactions on Naira debit cards since August 1. Likely, other traditional financial institutions may follow suit. Although, it is not yet clear how fintech companies like Flutterwave, Kuda Bank, and Paystack would react.

According to a Daily Trust report, Forex scarcity is the reason behind this move. 

As First Bank mentions, you can continue enjoying these services by getting a Visa Prepaid (USD) Card or other internationally accepted cards. You must visit one of your bank’s branches to apply for this card.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.