In October 2022, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced that it intended to launch a domestic card scheme by January 2023. Citing the growth of the payments landscape in Nigeria, the CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Nwanisobi Osita, stated that the move would drive financial inclusion in the country while reducing the operating costs of cards in the country.
Ten days past its original launch date, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, launched the card scheme today at a virtual launch ceremony. Reiterating the CBN’s determination to drive financial inclusion using the card and boost data sovereignty, he added that all online card transactions will now be conducted on the national card scheme.
“At this time when foreign exchange challenges persist globally, it is important for me to say that we have come up with this card to ensure that all card online transactions will now, effective immediately, begin to go on the Nigerian National Domestic System.”
He added that all online card transactions in the country would be done using the Nigerian Domestic Cards, with the CBN expected to come up with a deadline in the coming days.
When we first reported this development, we pointed out that this decision by the CBN would present competition for existing players in the space, and this appears to be the case.
The CBN Governor revealed that the bank would cease paying dollars for charges on transactions within Nigeria. This move could mean that commercial banks in the country may be forced to discontinue local transactions using cards provided by incumbents after the deadline.
This is a developing story.