Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) are yet to comply with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive that they allow cheques payments into savings accounts.
The apex bank instructed the lenders that savings account customers with Bank Verification Number (BVN) should be allowed to deposit cheques not more than N2 million in value, per customer per day, into their accounts.
But two months after, the lenders claimed they were still upgrading their systems to enable them comply with the directive.
Adebola Oloye, a customer of one of the deposit money banks, told The Nation that his lender rejected a cheque of N200,000 he wanted to lodge into his savings account, outright.
“The banks are not complying with the CBN’s directive. The apex bank has to compel them to do the needful because I believe the policy will help to boost confidence in the banking system,” he said.
CBN Director, Banking and Payment System Department, ‘Dipo Fatokun, had said the decision to allow cheques in savings accounts is in furtherance of its efforts at strengthening the Nigerian payments system.
The apex bank removed fixed interest rate on credit cards and discontinued the actual address verification in account opening, for customers with BVN. It 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.
Former Keystone Bank Executive Director, Richard Obire, said the banks had no reason not to comply. He said: “The CBN needs to wake the banks up by setting a compliance deadline for them otherwise, the objective of the policy shift will not be achieved.”
He added: ”In the past, they asked their customers to get two references before cheques are acceptable into the accounts. I understand they are taking precautions as accepting cheques can expose them to risks, but with the BVN and registered mobile phone details, I think they should comply without further delay”.
Obire explained that accepting cheques into savings accounts would boost financial inclusion and create opportunity for low income earners to pay their dividend warrants and other cheque-related instruments into their accounts, until such accounts can be credited directly through the e-dividend platform.