CBN Begins Implementation of National Domestic Scheme January 16, to Unify Payments in Nigeria

CBN Begins Implementation of National Domestic Scheme January 16, to Unify Payments in Nigeria

  • The Central Bank of Nigeria is poised to begin the rollout of the National Domestic Card Scheme
  • The card scheme is billed to become operational on January 16, 2023
  • The card will, among other functions, unify payments in Nigeria, drive cashless transactions and promote transparency

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The much-touted National Domestic Card Scheme by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is billed to commence on January 16, 2023.

The CBN, in partnership with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBBS), said the scheme will unify payments in Nigeria and bring in the unbanked population.

CBN, Domestic Card Scheme
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele Credit: PHILIP OJISUA / Stringer
Source: Getty Images

New card will reduce demand for foreign exchange

The card is also expected to rival big industry players such as Mastercard and Visa.

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In October 2022, Osita Nwanisiobi, CBN’s director of Corporate Communications, said that because Nigeria is Africa’s largest and most vibrant economy, and the speed of digitisation and innovation, including the expansion of mobile access and proactive policy initiatives of the apex bank, it has become important to accelerate the adoption of digital financial services.

Nwanisiobi said:

“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.
“Domesticating our card scheme also enhances data sovereignty, enabling the development of locally relevant products and services and reduces demands on foreign exchange.”

CBN lists functions of the card

The CBN spokesman also said the card could also be used as a platform to disseminate government-to-person payments and other social initiatives to enhance financial access and support the growth of a strong and inclusive digital economy, according to reports.

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The card would be delivered via NIBBS, the country’s central switch system in partnership with the Bankers Committee and other industry players.

“It will foster innovation within the Nigerian domestic market, while enabling African and international interoperability, allowing banks and other institutions to offer a variety of solutions including debit, credit, virtual, loyalty and tokenized cards amongst others,” he said.

Card to reduce dependence on cash transactions

Part of the plan is for the card to reduce dependence on cash transactions, improve fraud management and enhance dispute management around card operating systems, Premium Times said.

The CBN said the card will incorporate products such as debit cards, credit cards and non-interest cards, among others.

CBN, NIBSS move to unify payments through National Domestic Card Scheme reported that 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.

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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 the CBN.


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