Nigeria launches national payment card

Monday 30 January 2023 09:58 CET | News

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) have launched a national payment card aimed at boosting financial inclusion in the region.


The card, AfriGo, was designed to respond to the local peculiarities that existing card products could not address, and, as it is set to function like other international payment cards, it is also thought to help reduce dependence on foreign cards.

Nigeria and how the domestic card scheme falls into place

Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, stated that with the AfriGo card, Nigeria has joined countries of the likes of China, Russia, Turkey, and India, which all have their local cards, and noted that the operation of the local cards will not prevent the usage of existing international cards, but will provide Nigerians with more options.

When commenting on the benefits of the national card, the apex bank Governor advised that AfriGo offers an opportunity to have the informal sector of the economy integrated within the financial system. Furthermore, they believe that this will also help reduce the cost of card production for Nigerian banks and also decrease the need for forex to acquire foreign cards. 

The Deputy Governor of CBN and Chairman of NIBSS, Aisha Ahmad also spoke on what Nigeria stands to gain from the card, advising that following the implementation of the national domestic card scheme, the industry is believed to benefit from:
  • improved transaction security;

  • better pricing opportunities;

  • reduced demand for FX and less pressure on the Naira;

  • and locally relevant partnership and offerings to develop local skills in the card and payment space.

Furthermore, it is believed to bring forth other advantages of the likes of a boost to financial inclusion, value retention, and flexible and innovative scale.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) have launched a national payment card aimed at boosting financial inclusion in the region.

Officials also stated, as quoted by the Guardian, that based on the global card ownership statistic report, the adult population in Nigeria owns approximately 32% and 3% of debit and credit cards, thus ranking the country as the 75th in the world in debit card to population ratio and 114th in the world in credit card to population ratio. As Nigeria has a low card-to-population ratio when benchmarked globally, this has a great impact on the government’s drive towards boosting financial inclusion.

Additional card scheme details

As per information provided in the announcement, the AfriGo card was developed by AfriGopay Financial Services Limited, an affiliate of NIBSS and licensed by the CBN, with the company being responsible for deploying and managing the national domestic card scheme for Nigeria. According to analysts, the solution is a robust, in-country scheme that is designed to address the specific requirements of the payment industry in Nigeria and provide offerings tailored to the Nigerian market and beyond.

The scheme is believed to help transform the domestic and African payment landscape by promoting innovation within payments, enhancing interoperability both domestically and internationally, and improving the suite of products and solutions offerings by banks and other financial institutions, of the likes of debit, credit, virtual, loyalty and tokenised cards.

As per the announcement, the national domestic card is set to be delivered to over 200 million Nigerians and is believed to provide unique value propositions via enhanced data sovereignty and transaction security, improved pricing opportunities, reduced demand for FX, and improved financial access and support of the growth of an extensive and inclusive digital economy, amongst others.

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Keywords: product launch, partnership, payments , card scheme, payment methods, financial inclusion, transactions , FX , banking
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems
Countries: Nigeria
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce

Central Bank of Nigeria


Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems

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