4 Life-Saving Tips for Travelling with ATMs in Nigeria

Written by a Guest Contributor


It’s no secret that Lagos is the actual heartbeat of Nigeria. Every tourist to the country prefers the city as it is the most developed in terms of technology and holds the best opportunities for fun, shopping, fine dining and exquisite lodging.

Lagosians are huge on cashless policy. So are many other big cities in Nigeria. From making purchases at stores to recharging airtime, settling bills and more; Automated Teller machine, ATM, cards have become vital to the inhabitants and visitors alike.

The good thing is, in addition to bank locations, there are ATMs located in shops, malls, pharmacies, delis, fast food joints and hotel lobbies around the city of Lagos, just like in most other Nigerian cities. Actually, it is rare in Lagos that you would have to walk more than 10 blocks without finding an ATM. This is what mirrors in most other Nigerian cities.

Are you visiting Lagos particularly, or any other big city in Nigeria, and itching to move quick cash from a bank account to your wallet? This article offers a few tips that can help you use your ATM card safely in Nigeria.

How to use your ATM card safely

How to use your ATM card safely while on tour in Nigeria

1) Ensure you have a local account, foreign currency transactions are not allowed

Using your debit (or a credit) card at an ATM with the intention of taking foreign currency directly from your home country’s bank account is not an accepted practice. Unless you visit a bank to complete the transaction, you do not have the option of withdrawing in other currencies outside the Naira.

So when planning your itinerary, make visiting a credible financial institution to sort through cash issues a priority.

2) ATM charges and fees are real

Lagos ATMs work like most other ATMs around the country: they always have English-language instructions and you will be expected to pay a service fee of NGN 400 after the third time of making withdrawals from a foreign account.

It is important to check with your bank or credit card company to find out what other fees may be applicable as ATM transactions made with bank-issued debit cards come with various fees.

3) Use an ATM close to the issuing bank

While there are many ATM machines around big cities, with Lagos as a typical example; it is important for travellers to seek out those that have affiliations with their domiciled bank. This is so that in cases where issues arise, they can sort it out quickly.

Again, most banks have withdrawal limits, and in the rare case where you have reached your limit, you can easily walk into a branch and withdraw the rest you need. Also, your sense of security will be higher with little fear of robbery.

4) Ensure the ATM card is valid

Most travellers carry more than one ATM card for backup in the unwanted case that any of them goes missing, however, it is important to make sure your cards remain valid and will not expire before your trip ends to avoid being stranded.

As ATM machines in Lagos sometimes even reject cards a week before expiry date. Also, before you set out on your trip, confirm with your bank to be sure that your card will work properly in Lagos. Finally, let them know if you will indulge in unusual spending patterns or make large withdrawals while traveling, that way they do not feel the need to freeze your account in the bid to protect it.

Also read: Cyber Security Awareness - How To Avoid Online Hacker Attacks And Scams

Author Bio
Ndem Nkem is a Travel/Tech Writer with Jovago Nigeria, the acclaimed 'Africa’s No. 1 online hotel booking portal'. You can link up with her on Twitter @ndemv; or on Skype: live:nkemndemv

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