The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed commercial banks and other financial institution operating in the country to allow customers operating savings accounts to lodge in cheques transactions of not more than N2 million in value into their accounts, per customer in a day.
In a circular issued by the Director, Banking and Payment System Department, CBN, ‘Dipo Fatokun, disclosed that the decision to allow cheques in savings accounts was in furtherance of its efforts at strengthening the Nigerian payments system.
Bank customer operating savings account customers but with Bank Verification Number (BVN) will now be allowed to deposit cheques up to the tune of N2 million per day.
The apex bank removed fixed interest rate on credit cards and discontinued the actual address verification in account opening, for customers with BVN.
CBN also asked banks to begin to embed BVN biometric data in payment cards issued henceforth, to facilitate off-line BVN verification and biometric-based customer authentication on such payment devices as Automated Teller Machines (ATM), Point of Sale (PoS), kiosks, among others.
It says approval of BVN watch-listing modalities and release by the CBN of necessary Credit Risk Management System (CRMS) data, to facilitate its use for enriching the BVN watch-list.
Looking at the gains of apex bank new policy on cheque deposit into Savings account, industry stake holders have said that it will encourage retail investors, because before now, commercial banks in Nigeria do not allow any cheque pass through savings account.
They said that dividend warrants can now be easily deposited into savings account, stressing that retail investors who have shares in companies get their returns through a dividend warrant, often the dividend warrants comes with little value which will have to pass through a current account, with this new policy by CBN, this instrument can now be deposited into a savings account.
Also, small business owners can now do cheque transactions, because with this new policy, small business owners will no longer be scared to consummate transactions in cheque, before now they usually do not accept cheques especially when it is above the cash threshold of N150,000 which must pass through a current account.
According to CBN policy, there are three tiers of account bank customers can operate, tier one, two and three. Savings account falls within tier one which is limited as to some threshold and non-cheque lodgments, with this policy in place it is an upgrade because cheques can now pass through savings accounts.