If you live in Nigeria like me, and pay for international services, such as domain or hosting for instance, or maybe just basic stuff like Apple Music, you would agree that the last few months would have been an exercise in patience, “can-do” spirit, and innovation. Paying for stuff online, has become a lot harder than walking on a tightrope.
First, there are a few banks that honor international transactions still (I can think of only three). If you somehow scale the huddle, there’s still the problem of limits on how much of your own money you can spend daily, monthly ($200) and yearly. ($1000). Insane.
To make matters worse, a lot of these international vendors, such as Apple, in trying to solve the issue by billing in Naira, have made it impossible to pay for anything, even if they are within your limit, because all the banks have pretty much blocked Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) transactions, which is what makes it possible for these vendors to charge in Naira in the first place! Worst still, even customers that had dollar debit cards were not able to make payments for these services.
That’s changed though, a few days ago, I got an email from GTBank letting me know that they now allowed DCC transactions on their dollar debit card. While that doesn’t solve the core problem of dollar scarcity and to an extent creates new ones (for instance the need to own a dorm account and also, find your own dollars), at the very least, if you have no qualms sourcing your own dollars at whatever price, you now now have the option to make payments below $1,000 monthly,(Yes, there is a limit to how you can spend your dollars too) and enjoy little joys like Apple Music.