Nigeria launches National Domestic Card Scheme

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed that the official launch of the country’s National Domestic Card Scheme will open up opportunities for the economy to integrate the informal sector and reduce shadow banking. This will bring more Nigerians into the formal financial services, thus diversifying the deposit portfolio and strengthening the stability of the banking industry. CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stated that despite the growth of card payments in Nigeria, many Nigerians are still excluded due to the high cost of card services and the fact that existing card products do not address local peculiarities.

The National Domestic Card Scheme aims to address these issues by making card services more accessible and affordable for all Nigerians. It is also in line with global trends, with other countries such as China, Russia, Turkey, and India having launched similar schemes. Emefiele emphasized that the scheme is not intended to prevent international service providers from continuing to provide services in Nigeria, but rather to provide more options for domestic consumers and promote cost-effective and competitive services.

Deputy Governor of Financial System Stability at the CBN, Aishah N. Ahmad, also noted that the scheme is an important platform for innovation in solving issues around financial inclusion, SME payments, and trade facilitation. She acknowledged the contributions of various stakeholders in the ecosystem, including deposit money banks, in getting Nigeria to this crucial milestone.

Overall, the National Domestic Card Scheme is a collaborative effort among payment ecosystem stakeholders in Nigeria, aimed at bringing more benefits to all Nigerians. This includes greater financial inclusion, more affordable card services, and greater innovation in the payment system.

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