Events in the last few days have thrown up the need for a dollar debit card for certain categories of customers, especially those who for one reason or the other must carry out transactions denominated in dollars, pound sterling, euro or any other foreign currency.
Deposit Money Banks on Friday stopped the usage of their naira debit cards (Automated Teller Machine cards) abroad.
They also stopped online transactions denominated in foreign currencies. A few banks that allowed online transactions only gave a limit of $100 per month.
The development has made intending travellers applying for visa to the United Kingdom and Canada to experience challenges in making payment for visas.
They are also finding it difficult to book for foreign hotels online using their naira debit card or credit card.
Many customers, especially those who travel often or have things to do with foreign currencies, have been besieging banks to get the dollar card.
What is a dollar debit card?
A dollar debit card, in simple terms, is a debit card that does transactions in dollar instead of naira. It is the dollar equivalent of a naira debit card.
While the naira debit card transactions are done in naira, the dollar debit card transactions are done in dollars. A naira debit card is attached to your savings account or current account; but the dollar debit card is attached to your domiciliary account (a foreign currency account).
A dollar debit card is an international debit card that is issued in partnership with MasterCard or Visa; and it is directly linked to the customer’s domiciliary account.
Banks including those in Nigeria have some similar products (prepaid dollar cards) that are not linked to a domiciliary account. They are different from the dollar debit card.
The dollar debit card is denominated in the US dollars, but can also be used to settle purchases in other major currencies. All transactions carried out using the dollar card are reflected on the account instantly.
It is important to note that a customer can choose to apply for a pound sterling debit card or a euro debit card, depending on his/her needs or preferences.
Most people open dollar debit card because the US dollar is the most popular currency in the world and transactions done in dollars are easily convertible to other currencies.
The following are features of a dollar card:
1. Accessibility: Customers can access their funds 24 hours worldwide.
2. The card has international use only. However, it may be used in Nigeria for online payments.
3. It can be used on the ATM terminals, PoS and websites that accept Visa or MasterCard.
4. Worldwide acceptance: The dollar card is acceptable worldwide across the ATMs, PoS terminals and the Internet.
5. Convenience: It makes life convenient. It can be used to book for hotels, buy airline tickets, among other things.
6. Affordability: Most banks issue the dollar card for a token of $7 or $8.
7. Security: The card uses Chip and PIN technology to prevent unauthorised transactions.
8. Cardholder’s name, number and expiry date are printed on the front of the card.
9. The three-digit Card Validation Value (CVV2) is printed on the other side of the card, beside the signature panel.
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