In a bid to stop the abuse of foreign exchange, commercial banks have mandated travellers in need of dollars – Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA) – to get dollar travel debit cards as they will no longer be disbursing money in cash.
First Bank of Nigeria and Access Bank have announced that they will now only be disbursed via a dollar travel card.
The banks disclosed this via email to their customers, although some others have commenced disbursements through travel cards only in an effort to reduce the demand for cash and check customers who capitalise on the arbitrage.
In a statement by First Bank, it said that, “The full Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA) of $4,000 and $5,000 respectively will now be disbursed into your First Bank Travel Card. All applications will be in line with regulatory requirements. Kindly ensure that all PTA/BTA applications along with the approved Form A are submitted at the branch exactly 14 days before your proposed travel date. Sales is limited to two quarters a year.”
For school fees it noted that a minimum of 30 days is required for processing, after the submission of documents along with the approved Form A at the branch, subject to a maximum of $15,000 per semester and limited to two semesters per session.
For upkeep of students studying abroad, it noted that, “Application for upkeep requires a minimum of 30 days for processing subject to a maximum of $3,000 (or its equivalent in other currencies) per semester, limited to 2 semesters per session. Evidence of payment of school fees for the current session, if school fee was not paid through First Bank, will also be required.”
Similarly, Access Bank said, “We would like to once again inform you that we disburse authorised personal and business travel allowance FX requests through our Access Travel Debit Card. The Access Travel Debit Card has been created to enable you to transact seamlessly when you travel abroad.”
It added that, with this process, “customers can get instant issuance for PTA/BTA requests, easy access to international transactions via online, POS, and ATM and that the card is valid for three years and is usable for current and future PTA/BTA requests during its validity.”