“No More N1K”: FG Directs Access, Zenith, Other Banks to Issue New Debit Cards to Customers With NIN

“No More N1K”: FG Directs Access, Zenith, Other Banks to Issue New Debit Cards to Customers With NIN

  • The FG of Nigeria has directed commercial banks to issue debit cards that will serve as national identity cards for its citizens
  • Nigerians can now ask their banks to give them the multipurpose debit card
  • The new card, which will function as a national identity card and bank card, will also be free

The Federal Government has directed Nigerian banks and other financial institutions to issue new debit cards to customers with National Identification Numbers (NIN).

The new card will withdraw money from Automatic Teller Machines and serve as a national identity card for Nigerians.

Pantami new debits card
The new debit card will serve as an ATM and National ID card. Photo credit: @FIMC
Source: Twitter

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, announced the directive during a press briefing following the valedictory Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

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Patanmi speaks on new domestic card

According to Pantami, Nigerians can now request their banks to provide them with the new debit card for free, as reported by the Punch. It is different from the N1,000 charges for a new bank card request.

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He also explained that the decision came in response to a memo from the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) authorising banks to print multipurpose debit cards that can function as national identity cards.

The minister explained:

"It is going to be a form of the multipurpose card where it will serve as your national identity card on the one hand and your bank card on the other hand, either Mastercard, Visa, or any other kind of card."
"Although the NIMC Act of 2007 mandates Nigerians to obtain a National Identity Number (NIN) and not necessarily a physical card, there has been a growing demand for cards nationwide."

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Pantami also stated that citizens, especially those residing in rural communities, often visit NIMC offices to express their need for a physical card, even though it is optional.

He continues:

"To address this issue and provide convenience to citizens, NIMC introduced a smart ID card last year, which can be downloaded through the NIMC app.
However, this digital solution poses challenges for people in rural areas. To alleviate these difficulties, NIMC has partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to allow interested citizens to obtain a physical card from their respective banks."
With the new directives banks will now be authorised to print the card with either a Mastercard or Visa card.
The multipurpose card will serve as both a national identity card and a bank card, eliminating the need for separate cards. Importantly, citizens will not incur any additional costs when applying for this new card.

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How to apply

Pantami further explained that when a bank customer wants to apply for a card, there must be an indication that "I want this card to be multiple purposes where it will serve as my bank card and also my national identity card."

He continued:

"Both of them are going to be printed on the same card, and it is going to serve the same purposes without any additional costs."

Privacy issues

Pantami also revealed that to protect the privacy and confidentiality of card applicants, NIMC and CBN have signed a nondisclosure agreement.

He noted that the agreement ensures that personal information remains secure throughout the card issuance process.

He added:

"Banks will apply online to NIMC, cross-checking their database with the NIMC database to verify the applicant's information. Once confirmed, the card will be printed immediately."

CBN deploys National Domestic Card nationwide, lists features and benefits to Nigerians

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In another report, Legit.ng revealed that the Central Bank of Nigeria officially deployed the National Domestic Card on Monday, January 16, 2023, which is meant to serve as both a credit card and debit card, among other functions.

Legit.ng reported that the apex bank, in partnership with Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBBS), would launch the card this January.

The National Domestic Card is expected to compete with industry players like Mastercard, Discovery, and Visa.

Source: Legit.ng

Dave Ibemere avatar

Dave Ibemere (Senior Business Editor) Dave Ibemere is a senior business editor at Legit.ng. He is a financial journalist with over a decade of experience in print and online media. He also holds a Master's degree from the University of Lagos. He is a member of the African Academy for Open-Source Investigation (AAOSI), the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and other media think tank groups. He previously worked with The Guardian, BusinessDay, and headed the business desk at Ripples Nigeria. Email: dave.ibemere@corp.legit.ng.

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