CBN Launches Domestic Card Payment Scheme


Beginning today, Nigerians will receive a new electronic card for local transactions that will be charged in Nigeria. However, the procurement cost and operational charges are still unknown. A card payment scheme is simply a system that processes payments with the use of debit and credit cards.

On a global scale, Visa and Mastercard are the two most popular and largest card payment schemes. Domestically, debit cards issued by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) are acceptable payment platforms. But the popular ones serving the Nigerian market are: Visa, Mastercard, and Verve.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), alongside the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) and the Bankers’ Committee brought up the idea at a press briefing in October last year.

At the conference, Premier Oiwoh, the Managing Director of NIBSS, explained that the domestic card scheme is sure to reduce the operating costs of cards in the country for both the issuers and users.

“The card would be optimised for local content, solely for the Nigerian market and support micropayment and credit, e-government, identity management, transportation, health and agriculture regarding payment”, Owoh added.

CBN’s Director, Corporate Communications Department Mr Osita Nwanisobi, buttressed Oiwoh’s position by adding that Nigeria’s payment ecosystem has grown appreciably and can carry on a domestic card scheme.

“Considering the strength and breadth of its banking sector and the rapid growth and transformation of its payments system over the last decade, Nigeria is ideally positioned to successfully launch a national card scheme”, he said.

The new card, which is expected to unify payments across the banking landscape, is coming at a time when Nigerians are fighting commercial banks over alleged dubious, duplicitous and peppery charges for using debit and credit cards.

The new card scheme is in sync with CBN’s plans of running a cashless economy by weaning Nigerians off cash addiction. It also seeks to deepen financial inclusion, enhance data sovereignty, and track spending.









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