Why online shoppers and travellers should get a Naira card


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Posted by on Monday May 4, 2015 at 17:7:43:

If you are an online shopper in Nigeria, one of the things that can make your life a bit easier is having a Naira card also and banks offer them now in three variants: Visa, MasterCard and Verve. The first 2 are good for foreign and local payments while Verve works swiftly with local payments since they are powered by Interswitch.

With the recent increased restriction of forex to travellers and global online shoppers by the CBN, it makes it harder to get access to foreign currency even from the black market and banks don't normally sell it directly to you in cash unless you are making payments through their provided channels. One of the ways through which you can make foreign currency payments is through a Naira Visa or Mastercard.

One thing about Naira cards is that they can be funded with your Nigerian Naira and another benefit is that they also allow you to make payments in foreign currency at rates better than what obtains in the black market. About 2 weeks ago and with the rising value of the US dollar in Nigeria, I had to make use of my Naira Visa card to make payments at Amazon and the rates used for me was just 208 but when I wanted to buy US dollars from the black market, they were selling it at N220. So, I think in terms of forex rates, Naira cards tend to offer a better price for buyers. Nowadays, it's only profitable to sell US dollars at the black market while buying it through your bank issued Naira cards.

Also, a Naira card is a safer way to carry money abroad rather than carrying cash in foreign currency. No one can steal the money from your Naira account through your card unless you tell them your personal details or they know your PIN. It is easier to lose cash than lose money through your Naira card.

If you are an online shopper, a business traveller or tourist from Nigeria and wish to make payments in foreign currency abroad, it's normally better to just go with a Naira card since they save you money and give you better rates but if you do have foreign currency in cash, you'd get better rates at the black market and not your bank.

It's easy to get a Naira Visa or Mastercard from Nigerian banks nowadays as all it requires is an application from an existing account holder. A Naira Card can be a prepaid, debit or credit card.

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