Market News

Banks deny hoarding as scarcity of banknotes enters another week - THE GUARDIAN

FEBRUARY 07, 2023

As public rage turns against deposit money banks (DMBs) with images of concealed new banknotes in banking halls, the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) has insisted the financial institutions do not have any reason to hoard the currency in the face of enormous hardships facing Nigerians.

The association also argued that banks have invested over N100 billion in the past few years in setting up and maintaining cutting-edge electronic channels as part of the ongoing commitment to building seamless customer experience and real-time digital financial transactions.

“From internet banking to mobile applications, automated teller machines (ATMs), point of sales (PoS) merchants, mobile wallets, unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) codes to agents and digital franchises, not less than 80 per cent of Nigerians now enjoy one form of digital or cashless transaction or another, powered by investments by Nigerian Banks,” a statement signed by its President, Rasheed Bolarinwa, said.

The statement came as the adoption of non-conventional and digital-first banks reached a feverish level. Nigerians across different sectors, The Guardian reported, are migrating en masse to financial technology platforms and wallets offering banking services, as transactions on the space are more seamless.

But ACAMB dismissed the challenges faced as unintended and temporary, adding that normalcy will soon return to the financial system. ACAMB empathised with the Nigerian public on the unintended hardships being faced in the process of the ongoing rollout of re-designed naira notes and enhanced cashless policy.

It noted that the unintended constraints in the withdrawal of old naira notes and circulation of new naira notes, alongside the national policy to enhance cashless transactions, have had unintended effects on the banking public.

“These commitments by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) have seen Nigeria rising steadily and recognised as having arguably Africa’s most advanced digital financial services industry and one of the world’s top 10 real-time payment markets. It is a national pride and proof of Nigerian Banks’ commitment to customer service that Nigeria is regarded as having Africa’s most digitized banking industry.

“Nigerian banks remain committed to continuing investments in seamless and secured digital banking that excite customers to voluntarily use and rely on the various digital and alternate payment systems available,” the body said.

On the strength of the investment in digital technologies, ACAMB has thrown its weight behind the enhanced cashless policy championed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), saying that the entire banking sector is working with the regulator to urgently address underlying constraints.

It added: “In the past few hours, banks have taken additional measures to quicken the flow of naira notes. These measures, among others, include the deployment of extra technical supports for online payments, additional security at ATMs to ensure all-clock usage, technological back-up to reduce online downtime to the barest minimum, additional staff deployment to counters to attend to cash transactions and timely interbank and inter-branch networking to bridge any gap.

“We are confident that these measures, in addition to efforts by the CBN will result in greater ease of access and cash liquidity. The Federal Government and the CBN have reiterated similar readiness to address any constraint in the cyclical flow, including making adjustments, where necessary.”


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