As part of its implementation of the Naira redesign policy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched a cash swap programme in partnership with super agents and deposit money banks (DMBs).
Lifestyle Nigeria reports that the apex bank made the announcement in a circular jointly signed on Friday by Haruna Mustafa, Director of Banking Supervision Department; and Musa Jimoh, Director of Payments System Department.
The circular was addressed to all DMBs, mobile money operators (MMOs), super agents and agents.
Super agents are companies licensed by the CBN to recruit agents for the purpose of agency banking.
The initiative between CBN, Deposits Money Banks, DMBs, and Super Agents would commence on January 23 2023, to exchange the new naira notes with old notes.
It said the 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.
CBN insisted on the January 31 2023, deadline for the old naira notes to cease to be legal tender.
“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 deposit 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.”
To promote financial inclusion, the CBN said 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 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 same to the CBN on a weekly basis.
“Principals (super sgents, MMOs, DMBs) shall be held accountable for their agents adherence to the above guidelines.”
CBN said cash swap agents would be readily identifiable in all local governments, particularly those in the rural areas.