The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched a cash swap programme in partnership with super agents and deposit money banks (DMBs) to beat the deadline set for the withdrawal of old notes from circulation.
This was disclosed in a circular on Friday, co-signed by Haruna Mustafa, director of the banking supervision department; and Musa Jimoh, director of the payments system department.
The circular was addressed to all DMBs, mobile money operators (MMOs), super agents and agents.
According to the apex bank, super agents are companies licensed by the CBN to recruit agents for the purpose of agency banking across the country.
The CBN said the cash swap programme will be effective from Monday, January 23, 2022.
The cash swap initiative is aimed at enabling citizens in rural areas or those with limited access to formal financial services to exchange old naira notes for redesigned notes, the CBN stated.
Last year, the bank had said old notes are expected to be out of circulation by January 31.
“The old N1000, N500, N200 notes can be exchanged for the newly redesigned notes and/or the existing lower denominations (N100, N50 and N20, etc) which remain legal tender,” the circular reads.
“The agent shall exchange a maximum of N10,000 per person. Amounts above N10,000 may be treated as cash-in deposits into wallets or bank accounts in line with the cashless policy. BVN, NIN, or Voter’s card details of the customers should be captured as much as possible.”
The CBN said the initiative will promote financial inclusion by making the service is also available to anybody without a bank account.
It said agents may, on request, instantly open a wallet or account, leveraging the CBN tiered know your customer (KYC) framework.
This, according to the bank, will ensure that this category of the populace (unbanked citizens) are able to exchange or deposit their cash seamlessly without taking unnecessary risk or incurring undue cost.
CBN also directed agents to sensitise customers on opening wallets/bank accounts and the various channels for conducting electronic transactions.
“Designated agents are eligible to collect the redesigned notes from DMBs in line with the revised cash withdrawal limit policy,” the circular adds.
“Agents are also permitted to charge cash-out fees for the cash swap transactions but prohibited from charging any further commissions to customers for this service.
“Agents shall render weekly returns to their designated banks regarding the cash swap transactions. DMBs shall in turn render the same to the CBN on a weekly basis.
“Principals (super agents, MMOs, DMBs) shall be held accountable for their agents’ adherence to the above guidelines.”
CBN said cash swap agents will operate in all local governments across the country, particularly those in the rural areas.
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