The banks said they are honouring a CBN directive.
Nigerian banks have said they would no longer cash third party cheques above N150, 000.
A third party cheque is that issued by an account holder to a recipient for money to be released from his/ her account and given to the recipient.
The banks made this known in various messages sent to their customers over the weekend.
“We write to inform you that the Central Bank of Nigeria has recently directed that, with effect from June 1, 2013, all 3rd party cheques above N150,000 shall NOT be eligible for encashment over the counter in all banks nationwide. Value for such cheques shall only be received through lodgements into your bank account,” GTBank said in a message to customers.
“Dear valued Customer, with effect from 1st June 2013, all third-party cheques above N150, 000 will no longer be eligible for encashment over the counter for both individual and corporate customers nationwide. All such cheques will only be honoured through clearing. This policy is part of the CBN cash-less Nigeria Initiative,” First Bank said in its message.
The banks encouraged customers to maximise its other banking alternatives for their transactions.
“We encourage you to use our alternative channels such as PoS terminals, online banking, ATMs and Firstmonie,” First Bank said.
GTBank also said it has made efforts to enable an easier transition into the cash-less economy through its other alternatives.
“In an effort to help our customers’ transit into a cash-less society, GTBank has made several e-banking solutions available for purchases and banking transactions including: POS Terminals, Internet Banking, Electronic Branches, GT Pay, GAPs, GTConnect, GTBank Mobile Money.
“With your GTBank Naira MasterCard, you can pay for goods & services online and at POS terminals in Nigeria and abroad. Additionally, our various e-Banking Channels also allow you transfer money electronically, pay bills, make payments and do so much more without having to visit the bank” the bank said.
Other banks, such as FCMB, also sent messages, alerting customers to the development.
The policy is to discourage the use of cash and to encourage the use of other banking and payment alternatives, such as the PoS, in furtherance of the Central Bank’s cash-less policy.
As part of efforts to ensure the success of the cash-less policy, the Central Bank also achieved the national activation of cheque truncation, which would aid the reduction in the settlement cycle of a cheque to one day from three.
In a circular issued in May, the Central Bank announced the extension of the cash-less policy to five states and Abuja, having birthed the policy in Lagos.
“In line with the decision of the Bankers Committee at its meeting of 12th February 2013, the cash-less policy would be extended to the following five states: Abia, Anambra, Kano, Ogun Rivers and the Federal Capital Territory, with effect from July 1, 2013.
“In view of the above, branches of Deposit Money Banks in the affected states are to commence: The enlightenment of their customers on the Cash-less policy, including the existing limits on cash withdrawals and deposits for individuals and corporate bodies, as well as the available e-payment options, training of staff on the cash-less policy in order to provide answers and handle issues/customers complaints, as well as provide answers to enquiries and handle issues/customers complaints as well as provide advice on the policy; median communication by the banks to complement existing CBN’s and Bankers’ committee media’s campaign; engagement of banks’ and key customers and other stakeholders,” the Central Bank said.
The regulatory body said that the implementation team will perform spot checks on bank branches in the phase II locations to ensure readiness and compliance.