Diamond and Access bank are set to have the largest alternative channels on the continent even as customers of both financial institutions can now use their combined total of 3,100 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) without paying the usual N65 charge that applies after a customer’s third withdrawal from other bank’s ATM.
A statement issued by Access Bank at the weekend said the free ATM withdrawals would take effect from January 1, 2019 and will give customers of the two banks access to the largest ATM network in the country.
The N65 remote-on-us ATM charge was reintroduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in September 2014 as part of efforts to curb frivolous withdrawals and abuse by ATM users.
The apex bank had also explained that the re-introduction of the remote-on-us ATM cash withdrawal transaction fee of N65 per transaction was necessary to cover remuneration for switches, ATM monitoring and fit-notes processing by acquiring banks.
Although the N65 charge is only applicable from the 4th remote-on-us withdrawal in a month by a card holder, bank customers have frequently called for it to be scrapped.
The statement said,” Access Bank and Diamond Customers now have access to over 3,100 ATMs free of charge.
This means that from January 1, 2019, you can use any Diamond Bank ATMs without paying the usual charges that apply on withdrawals from other banks’ ATMs.”
This is coming after both institutions recently sealed the Merger and Acquisition (M&A) deal which also received a “no objection” approval from regulatory authorities and could be finalised before June 2019.
On completion of the deal, the two banks are expected to have 27 million customers to make the combination to basically hold the largest customer base than any other financial institution on the continent, and having about 33,000 Point of Sale (POS) terminals as well as 13 million mobile customers.
Speaking to newsmen on the benefits of the business combination, Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, explained that the merger will form a leading Tier-1 Nigerian bank and the largest bank in Africa by number of customers, spanning three continents, 12 countries and 29 million clients.
According to him, it will bring together treasury, risk management and corporate banking expertise with strong retail and digital banking capabilities to create a financial institution operating across the full suite of products for all customer segments.