The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched a Cash Swap initiative in collaboration with Super Agents and Deposit Money Banks, DMBs, as part of its Naira Redesign policy and the need to maximize the channels through which rural residents can swap their Naira.
Through the scheme, people who live in rural areas or have limited access to formal financial institutions can exchange their old Naira notes for new ones.
Since the introduction of the new Naira notes, the apex bank has sustained its nationwide awareness and sensitization programmes, enforced speedy collection of the new notes at CBN branches by the DMBs and mandated issuance of the new notes through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to ensure that distribution is fair, transparent and evenly spread across the country.
In a statement signed by its Director, Banking Supervision Department, Haruna B. Mustafa and the Director, Payments System Management Department, Musa I. Jimoh, the Bank said the initiative takes effect from Monday, January 23.
According to the programme, the old ₦1000, ₦500, ₦200 notes can be exchanged for the newly redesigned notes and, or the existing lower denominations (₦100, ₦50 and ₦20, ₦10 and ₦5) which remain legal tender.
Under the programme, agents can only swap a maximum of N10,000 per person. Amounts above ₦10,000 may be treated as cash-in deposit into wallets or bank accounts in line with the cashless policy, with BVN, NIN, or Voter’s card details of the customers used for identification.
To promote financial inclusion, the service is also available to anybody without a bank account. Agents may, on request instantly open a wallet or account, leveraging the CBN Tiered KYC Framework. This will ensure that this category of the populace is able to exchange or deposit their cash seamlessly without taking unnecessary risk or incurring undue cost.
Agents are also expected to intimate customers on opening wallets, bank accounts and the various channels for conducting electronic transactions. The designated agents are also eligible to collect the redesigned notes from DMBs in line with the Revised Cash Withdrawal Limit policy. The agents are also permitted to charge cash- out fees for the cash swap transactions but are prohibited from charging any further commissions to customers for this service.
In addition, the agents will render weekly returns to their designated banks regarding the cash swap transactions, while the DMBs will in turn render same to the CBN on a weekly basis. The Principals, namely Super Agents, MMOs, DMBs will be held accountable for their agents’ adherence to the above guidelines.
The Cash Swap agents will be readily identifiable in all local governments, particularly those in the rural areas.
To ensure the success of the programme, the CBN assured that it will continue to monitor its implementation and provide further guidance as may be necessary.