According to information released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Sunday, the national domestic card program, which will be revealed on January 16, 2023, would increase financial inclusion and prepare the financial payment ecosystem for effective service delivery.
The Nigerian central switch, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS Plc), in collaboration with the Bankers Committee and other stakeholders, would deliver the program, according to Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, Director, Corporate Communications of the CBN, who made the disclosure in a statement.
He claims that the new product will promote innovation on the Nigerian domestic market and enable regional and global interoperability, enabling banks and other institutions to provide a range of solutions, including tokenized, virtual, debit, and credit cards, among others, while also enabling interoperability on the African and global scales.
“Nigeria joins a growing list of countries – 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.
The CBN recognizes 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”
He emphasized that Nigeria’s economy remained the biggest and most dynamic in Africa, but said that the top bank’s aggressive policy actions have accelerated digitisation and innovation as well as the growth of mobile penetration.
“CBN has driven the accelerated adoption of digital financial services. 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.
“Building on this platform to accelerate financial inclusion requires infrastructure that can deliver lower cost payments services that are more accessible and affordable for Nigerians. Domesticating our card scheme also enhances data sovereignty, enabling the development of locally relevant products and services and reduces demands on foreign exchange. The scheme can also be leveraged as a platform for the seamless dissemination of government-to-person payments and other social impact initiatives, enhancing financial access and supporting the growth of a robust and inclusive digital economy”, he added.