Government Restricts ATM Withdrawals to $45 Per Day in Bid to Force Digital Transactions

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Trying to rein in an economy in which cash still dominates, Nigeria is imposing limits on how much cash its people can withdraw per day from automatic teller machines.

In a letter sent to banks on Tuesday, the Central Bank of Nigeria said that as of Jan. 9, the daily limit of money that can be withdrawn per day is 20,000 naira, which, according to Bloomberg, comes to $44.97.

The current limit is 150,000 naira.

The new edict limits weekly withdrawals of cash at no more than 100,000 naira for people and 500,000 naira for corporations. Withdrawals above those limits will trigger hefty fees, according to the letter.

Other rules include a ban on cashing checks above 50,000 naira over the counter and getting more than 20,000 naira a day through cash withdrawals at point-of-sale terminals.

“Customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels (internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS, eNaira etc.)  to conduct their banking transactions,” the central bank said in its letter.

The Central Bank has been trying to wean Nigerians off of cash through a policy it calls Cash-less Nigeria.

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