Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), including the Bankers Committee, will float a national card scheme to enhance the payment system in Nigeria.
Vanguard reports that the Managing Director of NIBSS, Premier Owoh, stated this during the Committee’s meeting on Thursday, October 20, 2022.
Owoh said the project has been approved and is the brainchild of CBN.
He said part of the project of the apex bank is that the National Domestic Card Scheme will be designed to help accelerate acceptance and efficiency and reduce operating costs of cards in the country.
According to him, the card will be configured to manage the payment ecosystem and improve payment across Nigeria. It will also provide affordable pricing. Charges on the card will be lower because it will be charged in Naira and not in foreign currency.
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 said.
Explaining further, Owoh stated that the card is expected to reduce reliance on cash across the landscape and promote the cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Owoh said that it will have components like debit cards, credit cards and non-interest cards.
CBN’s spokesman, Osita Nwanisobi, said the move is meant to promote inclusion and growth in the financial services sector via Nigeria’s central switch system, NIBSS.
Nwaniso said the scheme will become effective in January 2023. ThisDay reports that with the introduction of the card, Nigeria joins a growing list of countries such as India, Turkey, China, and Brazil as leading examples – which have launched domestic card schemes and harnessed the transformative benefits for their respective payments and financial systems, particularly for the underbanked. Nwanisobi said:
“The CBN recognises the significant benefits from delivering Africa’s first central bank-driven, domestic card scheme, which, when delivered at scale, has the potential to become the largest in Africa, and one of the largest in the world.”