Payment declined: When your Nigerian bank doesn't agree with Amazon's currency currency converter rates


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Posted by on Tuesday December 22, 2015 at 10:15:33:

I have a Naira Mastercard which I use for shopping on Amazon USA and I get my packages delivered to my by DHL using a US shipping company. Recently and probably because of the scarcity of foreign currency in Nigeria, I noticed that my Naira Mastercard has stopped working well on Amazon as it used to in the past.

I suspect that Nigerian banks may have starting partially blocking the use of Naira cards on foreign websites like Amazon because I've tried using my card recently many times and I keep getting an error saying "Payment has been declined". I was however able to use my card on Aliexpress but got a ridiculous exchange rate of N273 per dollar when I did. This is even when the official rate is about N200 per 1 US dollar.

When purchasing things on Amazon from with a Naira card, one of the things buyers would notice is that Amazon has a currency exchange rate tool that lets you know how much exactly you are going to be charged in Naira for the transaction and I have to say that it has always seemed to be lower than that I get when I use it on other foreign websites that don't use a currency converter tool. Amazon's currency converter tool is a more reliable way to know how much you are going to pay in Naira before lacing an order in foreign currency and I love them for that. When shopping or making payments on other foreign websites that don't use a currency converter, I get charged a higher fee which is normally at the sole discretion of my bank. It seems that Amazon normally tries to bargain currency rates for buyers so that they don't pay more than they ought to.

So, because I somehow suspected that the value of the Naira may hit N300 for 1 US dollar by 2016, I decided to buy gift cards from Amazon but after I had made my order and waited for my card to get debited at the displayed exchange rate of N218 to 1 USD, I got an email telling me that my Amazon order for gift cards has been declined.

When you have made an order on Amazon and you get a payment declined error, it is because the bank declined it for one reason or another such as having an insufficient account balance, expired card, unapproved transaction or that the name on the card, expiration date, or ZIP Code you entered at does not exactly match the bank's information. However, I'm suspecting that this may be for another reason which is that the bank may not have accepted the exchange rate offered by Amazon.

The next thing I did was to change my card currency since it was originally listed as a Naira card. I changed my card currency to US dollars and did the transaction again and it was successful. The gift card balance was added to my Amazon account but I didn't receive a debit alert from my bank and hence didn't know how much I was actually charged or the exchange rate used. I'm expecting a debit alert within 24 hrs and I'm guessing it will be higher than what Amazon initially offered.

So, if you are using your Naira card on Amazon and it's listed as a Naira card, you may need to change the card currency to USD if you still get payment declines after making a transaction on their website. This was not the case in the past as I use to get lower exchange rates when buying things on Amazon and I guess it's probably because exchange rates flunctuate during the day and Amazon was able to get lower or more guaranteed rates for us when using our Naira cards. Nowadays, it seems that the exchange rate keeps going up and Nigerian banks are practically struggling to keep meeting the needs of Nigerians who are so hungry for foreign currency.

One thing we should be asking is if the Naira keeps falling against major currencies like the US dollar and British Pounds by December, what will happen in 2016? Will the Naira fall as low as N300 for 1 US dollar?

Re: Payment declined: When your Nigerian bank doesn't agree with Amazon's curren Reply by rowlnad on Tuesday June 14, 2016 at 3:20:30:

Please, there are fears that Amazon charges more when you pay in dollar as supposed to paying in Naira. Which one is cheaper while transacting with Amazon

Re: Payment declined: When your Nigerian bank doesn't agree with Amazon's curren Reply by Felix Okoli on Tuesday June 14, 2016 at 3:20:30:

I have to confess that it's cheaper paying in dollars rather than in Naira for Dollar transactions because if you pay in Naira, you'll only be at the mercy of the banks who chose what their exchange rate will be. However, the good thing about paying in Naira on Amazon is that you'd get to see how much Naira you are actually been charged before making payment and that's the exact amount of Naira that will be debited to your account.

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