Have you seen the CBN payment card AfriGo, that could replace Mastercard, Visa, and other payment cards? Checkout the details.
The Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) has launched the Nigerian National Domestic Card Scheme, AfriGo to compete with Visa and Mastercard.
AfriGo aims at competing and not to replace international cards like Mastercard and Visa for transactions.
CBN launched the card scheme on Thursday, joining the other card service players to tap into the multi-billion dollar card economy.
For instance, in 2021 alone, the Nigerian card economy generated about $18.2 billion, sowing how very lucrative the card payment market is.
Benefits of the Card and Why CBN launched AfriGo:
The apex bank said millions of Nigerians don’t have cards to consummate their financial transactions because of poor financial inclusion.
It also noted that the card scheme will boost financial inclusion in the country and make financial transactions seamless.
It will also provide Nigerians with more financial transaction options, especially as it gives Nigerians some services free of charge.
The apex bank said “the domestic card scheme is expected to strengthen the national payments system and deepen the usage of electronic platforms in Nigeria.”
AfriGo will also open more opportunities for the Nigerian economy to integrate the informal segment of the economy.
It will also “reduce shadow banking and bring more Nigerians into formal financial services.”
Also, the CBN, in partnership with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), has launched AfriGo to disrupt the monopoly of the card market by international players like Visa and Mastercard.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele noted during the launch that AfriGo is not to chase away other card players.
He said, “Rather, it aimed at providing more options for domestic consumers, while also promoting the delivery of services in a more cost-effective and competitive manner.”
However, to further reduce their monopoly, the CBN has equally banned charges in dollars on local transactions from the international card services providers like Mastercard and Visa.
CBN says all transaction charges on other cards must be in Naira:
Emefiele, while launching AfriGo, banned charges in dollars on domestic transactions.
He said, apart from international transactions, transaction charges on all cards would henceforth be paid in Naira.
The CBN governor noted that Nigerians will only pay for charges in dollars for international transactions.
What CBN is saying:
According to Emefiele, “The National Domestic Card avails us the sovereignty of our data.
“Secondly, it comes at lower costs and thirdly, the issue of foreign exchange.
“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.”
“At some point in the next few weeks, I am sure that the CBN will come up with the cut-off. All domestic card transactions that will be conducted in Nigeria will have to be through the Nigerian Domestic Cards.
“Your existing cards are fine. You can continue using them but given that charges by foreign cards are in dollars, we will no longer pay dollars for the charges on those cards.
“We will only pay dollars for charges on transactions that are done outside Nigeria. NIBSS, the CBN and Nigerian banks will work together to see how to segregate those transactions. To ensure that we pay fees or charges for international transactions that are conducted on both domestic cards, Visa or Master Cards, as they are known today.”
“We will bar domestic charges from the Nigerian foreign exchange market at some point in the very near future.”