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We are redefining how you pay your bank charges

Mark Busaosowo
Published: September 12, 2023

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Our goal at The Alternative bank is to make lives better by providing you, our partner, with everything you need for a healthy financial life.

We take your feedback seriously and are always looking for ways to improve your experience with us (our feedback form is always open here). We have heard your request to know what you are charged for and when you are charged for it.

That’s why we are changing how we do things at The Alternative Bank; giving you full transparency on what services we charge you for and full control over your account.

WHAT ARE BANK CHARGES FOR?

Bank Charges are fees for services we render to you for managing your account and safeguarding your funds. These charges often cut across, account maintenance fees, transaction fees, fees for products, etc.

Let’s break down what they really are.

Bank charges are regulatory which means our boss – Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stipulated them as compulsory. The amount we charge is usually set by them.

There are some charges that you incur on a day-to-day basis, and some are one-off fees. Please see some of the current bank charges in Nigeria (CBN, 2019).

  • ATM Withdrawal Fees: A charge of N35 on your account for withdrawals from a different bank’s ATM more than 3 times within the same month. This charge is dependent on the bank’s ATM where this transaction is carried out. Kindly note that we do not charge you ATM withdrawal fees when you withdraw at a sterling bank ATM.
  • Card Maintenance Fees: A N50 (usually) quarterly maintenance fee for Naira debit or credit cards linked to your savings accounts. There is no charge for maintenance fees on cards linked to your current account. Foreign currency-denominated debit/credit cards attract $10 (or its equivalent).
  • TOKEN: There is a maximum charge of N2,500 on hardware tokens but software tokens do not attract any charge. We currently use a software token – MToken for your transactions.  
  • Transfer Fees: Sending funds domestically to other banks often incurs fees. There are no charges on transfer to the same bank or intrabank (e.g. Alternative Bank to Alternative Bank). For inter-bank transfers or to other banks, transactions below N5000 cost N10 plus VAT; N5,001 to N50,000 cost N25 plus VAT; transactions above N50,000 cost N50 plus VAT.
  • Bill payment: These are charges you incur whilst paying bills. Bill payments cover payment for utilities, cable TV, airline, etc.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: When you make purchases or withdraw cash in a foreign currency or use your card abroad, the bank charges foreign transaction fees. These charges are typically a percentage of the transaction amount and are in addition to the currency exchange rate.
  • Cashlite individual charge: This is CBN’s charge for cash withdrawals above the allowed limit. This policy was developed to encourage the use of e-channels and cheques for financial transactions.
  • Purchase of Form A: Form A allows you to purchase funds at the CBN or interbank rate to make payments for eligible services as predetermined by the foreign exchange manual.
  • Status Enquiry at the Request of Customer/ Bank Letter: A status enquiry charge (also known as a banker’s reference) gives third parties an indication of your personal or business finances. This covers charges you will incur when you request a status enquiry from us.
  • RTGS Charge: RTGS is a payment system that enables instantaneous and secure fund transfers between your bank account to a beneficiary account. RTGS charge covers transfer fees for this mode of transfer.
  • Stamp Duty: Stamp duty is a N50 naira charge on transactions or cash deposits above 10,000 naira or more by Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
  • Cheque charges: These are charges that you will incur when you own a cheque book.
  • Facility charges: These are charges you incur when you use any of our facilities. e.g., altmall, altbiz, altdrive etc.

Too tired to read? Plug in and listen

WHAT IS CHANGING? –  INTRODUCING THE BILLING SYSTEM

Traditionally, bank charges are applied to each transaction immediately after the service is rendered, resulting in a fragmented and sometimes confusing, payment process. Each transaction, bank transfer etc., is closely followed by its own processing fee. 

Goodbye to that!

Welcome the new billing system.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS

With a new billing account solely created for all your bank charges, you can pay your bank fees by making a transfer to your billing account anytime or decide to be automatically debited on the 5th of the new month. You are no longer caught off guard!

Your billing account will collate all your fees for the month, showing you the total amount of charges, you have incurred, giving you the option to settle your bank fees anytime during the month. Your billing account can be accessed on the altbank app any day and anytime or by requesting a statement from any of our outlets, email or social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Linkedln)

Like everyone else, we will send you our bill and wait to be paid. Just because we can, does not mean we should pay ourselves anytime we wish.

We understand that this change may be a little confusing to understand at once.

PLEASE NOTE: To make the change process easier, the change effective October 01, 2023, will affect only the charges listed below.

S/N Charge Description Amount
1 Account Opening   Free
2 Card Issuance minus delivery The cost to have a debit card without delivery fee. This is the fee you pay when you walk into our outlets N1,075   (Amount) + VAT  
3 Card Issuance plus delivery The total cost of a debit card including delivering this to your doorstep.   *Cost may vary based on your location N2,042.5   (Amount) + VAT + Delivery fee
4 SMS Charge These are charges for SMS alerts delivered to your phone. This cuts across all telcos. N4.00/SMS  
5 Card Maintenance – Savings account This covers the total cost of ensuring that your card works perfectly. This fee is charged Quarterly. 50.00 QUARTERLY
6 Card Maintenance – FCY Maintenance of Foreign Currency Denominated Debit/Credit Cards   10 dollars annually

We want you to have a clear understanding of your financial activities and that’s why we are doing things differently – no surprises, full transparency! That’s a real partnership at The Alternative Bank.

With your billing account in your email, you can see your bank charges for your transactions and opt to pay them off to the designated account or wait until you’re automatically debited on the 5th of the next month.

As your trusted financial partner, we are committed to maintaining the gold standard. 

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Obasuyi Osayimwense Fidelis
Obasuyi Osayimwense Fidelis
7 months ago

This is good enough,as far as my account is safe.

Obasuyi Osayimwense Fidelis
Obasuyi Osayimwense Fidelis
7 months ago

Okay

David Chiadikobi
David Chiadikobi
7 months ago

I started with alternative 🏦 bank when it was introduced and have been enjoying all their services since then. They are second to none. But the should try on the app please

Emeka
Emeka
7 months ago

This is a good one but most importantly l will like you to improve on your network service for Online banking

Obasuyi Osayimwense Fidelis
Obasuyi Osayimwense Fidelis
6 months ago

Okay, would there be any form to fill by then or every month.?

Ogunsanya Olusegun
Ogunsanya Olusegun
6 months ago

Perfectly okay, pls keep it up, am Enjoying your services,…

Ikechukwu John Nwodoh
Ikechukwu John Nwodoh
6 months ago

It’s a good idea, I hope you will not corrupt the process. In Nigeria we are good to initiate good products, but implementation is distorted as time goes on. All the best.

Usman Fanah
Usman Fanah
6 months ago

I like the transparency!

Usman Badamosi
Usman Badamosi
6 months ago

This is a beautiful innovation. 1st of its kind in the Noherian banking sector. Kudos to the Alternative Bank.

Abdullahi aliyu
6 months ago

Altbank

Adeboye Solomon
Adeboye Solomon
6 months ago

I consider this system a good one .It give room for transparency.My concern is the safety of my funds and quick attendants to customers.

Stanley Nwanna
Stanley Nwanna
6 months ago

Okay

AmBAYA rABIU
AmBAYA rABIU
6 months ago

Transparency at its peak

Olakunlel
Olakunlel
6 months ago

This is awesome! The best bank and always keep the good work.

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Abubakar Muhammad Musa

Summary

Abubakar Muhammad Musa is currently a Sharia Advisor and Consultant for SHAPE Knowledge Services a consulting firm based in Kuwait. He has been involved in product development, Sharia research and approval of Islamic banking products for different clients. His work covers retail banking, corporate banking and project finance deals.

Formerly, Abubakar worked as a Researcher in different units at International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Besides his primary assignments in ISRA, he taught Shariah Rules in Financial Transactions to Chartered Islamic Finance Professional (CIFP) Masters online Students of International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), Malaysia. He also taught MBA and BBA Students different Islamic Banking and Finance Subjects at University College of Bahrain.

Abubakar holds two Diplomas with distinction, one in Islamic Law and the other in Arabic Language from Al-Imam University Riyadh. He also holds LLB (Hons) degree in Shariah from the same University. He successfully completed his (CIFP) Professional Masters Degree Programme at (INCEIF), Malaysia. He had his internship program on Islamic Banking & Finance at Fajr Capital in Kuala Lumpur. During the programme, Abubakar conducted research relating to product structuring and market development.

Abdurraheem Ahmad Sayi

Summary

Abdurraheem Ahmad Sayi is a legal practitioner and Consultant of over 16 years of active legal practice. He is currently the principal partner, A.A. Sayi & Co. (Qist Chambers) and Qadi, Independent Shari’ah Panel of Lagos State – a platform, through which he has delivered several judgments of in-depth analysis, widely applauded by leading legal and intellectual icons, including learned Judges, professors of law and Islamic Studies.

He is the Executive Director/C.E.O., ClearPath Islamic Centre (Incorporated), Lekki-Lagos and Chief Imam, SilverPoint Central Mosque, Badore, Ajah-Lagos. Fondly called Imam Sayi, Abdurraheem is the designate Chairman, Shari’ah Advisory Committee, Mutual Benefit Takaaful.

Imam Sayi has also authored a few works, some of which include: The Financial Obligations: a compendium of essays on monetary or material obligations under Islamic Law and Waqf (Charity Endowment): The Governing Principles.

He holds a Certificate on Improving Personal Effectiveness from the Lagos Business School (Pan African University) and he is a recipient of numerous awards and certificates of merits.

Abdulkader Thomas

Education:

Master of Arts Law and Diplomacy, The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy.

Bachelor of Arts Arabic & Islamic Studies, The University of Chicago.

Shariah Board Experience:

Bank Muscat Meethaq (2013 – 2017)

Sterling Bank Nigeria (Since 2013)

University Bank, USA (Since 2006)

Summary

Abdulkader Thomas has over 35 years of diversified financial services experience in major markets. With a Master of Arts Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and a BA in Arabic & Islamic Studies from The University of Chicago. His areas of activity have included trade finance, real estate finance, securities and alternative finance.

As the general manager of a foreign bank branch in New York, he secured the first US regulatory approvals of Islamic mortgage and instalment credit/sale as banking instruments. Later, he secured US regulatory approval for profit sharing deposits. Abdulkader has been involved in the successful implementation of these products in the US market. With more than 17years Shariah Board Experience in Bank Muscat Meethaq, Sterling Bank Nigeria and University Bank USA, Abdulkader has worked on IFTA projects in Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, and an authority on Islamic deal structures and securities.

He also serves as a director of Alkhabeer Capital in Jeddah and Chairman of Alkhabeer (DIFC). He is a member of the international advisory board of the Securities Commission of Malaysia, a published author, and an active speaker on Islamic finance.