Last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced that it would launch a national domestic card scheme in January 2023 through the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) in partnership with the Bankers Committee.
A statement by the CBN spokesperson, Osita Nwanisobi, said the scheme would accelerate financial inclusion and deliver lower-cost payments services that are more accessible and affordable for Nigerians.
“Nigeria is Africa’s largest and most vibrant economy and the pace of digitisation and innovation, alongside the expansion of mobile penetration and the proactive policy initiatives of the CBN have driven the accelerated adoption of digital financial services,” he said.
Nigeria’s Apex bank explained that the scheme would allow banks to offer various solutions, including debit, credit, virtual, loyalty and tokenized cards, thereby fostering innovation within the Nigerian domestic market.
In recent years, Visa and Mastercard have dominated the card payment market in Nigeria. According to Global Data, Nigerians spent about $18.2 billion in card transactions in 2021. Procuring those cards costs customers money, and so does maintaining them. Transactions accomplished using them also need to be settled, which may often entail looking for foreign exchange to manage the obligations.
Scanning the international environment, countries have leveraged technology to improve their payment service situation, and many are now building on their strengths. India, Brazil, and Turkey are some of those who have created their domestic cards. Domestic cards are expected to serve the unbanked market better, increase competition within the payment landscape, and reduce Nigeria’s reliance on foreign-owned financial services companies.
Since the announcement, Nigerians have had numerous questions about the proposed scheme. This article will debunk the myths surrounding the scheme, providing answers to questions in the minds of the citizens.
What Nigerians must know about the National Domestic Card Scheme System proposed by the CBN
MYTH: ATMs, Cards will no longer be used as CBN, and NIBSS will move to unify Payment through the National Domestic Card Scheme.
FACT: This is FALSE. Existing ATMs, Cards and POS will still function without interruption.
MYTH: The establishment of the National Domestic Card Scheme will affect the usage of other cards, such as Mastercard, visa and Verve in Nigeria.
Fact: All other card schemes will go on without disruption. All the schemes will co-exist.
MYTH: There is no benefit to having a National Card Scheme.
FACT: The advantages are enormous. This is the national card scheme which aims to facilitate the growth of Nigeria’s payment eco-system, promote more customized payment services, tighten payment security, deepen financial participation, ensure data sovereignty, eradicate FX dependence, and many more benefits to the nation. Cardholders will enjoy improved affordability and more flexible payment options.
MYTH: CBN is the beneficiary of this new scheme, not the users.
FACT: There are numerous government social programs that DSCC Cardholders will enjoy. There will also be opportunities for the growth of financial inclusion, collaboration and employment opportunities.
MYTH: There are no direct benefits from using this card.
FACT: Robust reward system, ease of transaction processing and improved affordability.
MYTH: There is no difference between the National Domestic Card Scheme card and other card schemes.
FACT: This is a national domestic card scheme, fully homegrown, owned by Government and controlled by the banking industry focused on the Nigerian banking end users.
MYTH: There are no added security features on National Domestic Card Scheme.
FACT: The scheme is driven by the best local and global security standards (compliant with EMVco and other global card security standards)
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