Expectations high as CBN domestic card scheme takes off

by Johnson Daniel

In keeping with its mandate to promote financial and payment system stability, inclusion, and growth, the Central Bank of Nigeria has launched a national domestic card scheme that will go into effect on January 16, 2023.

Although the bank has yet to disclose the procurement and operational costs, Nigerians will begin receiving a new electronic card for local transactions that will be charged in Nigeria on Monday.

Card payment schemes accept debit and credit cards. The card is expected to compete with other debit cards available in Nigeria, such as Mastercard, Visa, and Verve.

At a press conference in October last year, the CBN announced the new card scheme in collaboration with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc and the Bankers’ Committee.

Premier Oiwoh, Managing Director of NIBSS, explained at the conference that the domestic card scheme would reduce card operating costs in the country for both 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 of the Corporate Communications Department, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, also corroborated Oiwoh’s position, explaining that Nigeria’s payment ecosystem has grown and can buoy 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, arrives at a time when Nigerians are suing commercial banks over alleged fraudulent and dubious charges on their cards.

The card will be distributed through Nigeria’s central switch, the NIBSS, in collaboration with the Bankers Committee and other stakeholders in the financial ecosystem.

Nigeria will join the growing list of countries that have launched similar cards for domestic use, including India, Turkey, China, and Brazil.

The CBN said, “The domestic card scheme will be an important game changer for financial inclusion in Nigeria.

“The plan is to deliver Africa’s first central bank-driven, domestic card scheme that combines a fully domestic infrastructure with international interoperability. Our plans will enable us to pivot into the largest card scheme in Africa, and amongst the biggest globally.”

However, it is unclear whether Nigerians will be able to use it for international transactions because its application is currently limited to local shores.

Leave a Comment

Related Posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy