The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has begun the deployment of the National Domestic Card Scheme, today, January 16, 2023.
The CBN’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Osita Nwanisobi, announced the development at the weekend.
According to him, the card is designed in partnership with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, NIBBS, with a view to unifying payments in Nigeria and bringing in the unbanked population.
He noted that the card is expected to compete with other debit cards, including Mastercard, Discovery, and Visa cards but for now, cannot process international payments.
He added that this has been driven by rapid digital and technological innovation, increasing mobile penetration, and the proactive policy initiatives of the CBN which have spurred unprecedented adoption of digital financial services.”
He listed the benefits of the card scheme to include among others, reduction of cost and use of foreign exchange, protection of data sovereignty, enabling locally relevant propositions, and making cards and payments more accessible and affordable for Nigerians.
“Given that MasterCard, Visa, Discovery, and other such cards are foreign controlled, the bank said National Domestic Card would ensure “improved sovereignty and security of our data and its operations will be locally based. It will also help to improve and drive financial inclusion nationwide.
“The card also has the potential to leverage its platform for seamless dissemination of government-to-person payments and other social impact initiatives, ultimately enhancing financial inclusion and supporting the growth of a robust digital economy,” CBN added.
The card will be delivered through Nigeria’s central switch, the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) Plc, in conjunction with the Bankers Committee and other financial ecosystem stakeholders.