POS deployment and use are expected to rise in Nigeria in the coming months as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has moved to promote stability, inclusion, and growth in the financial and payment system.
The CBN Director of Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, said in a statement that the proactive policy initiatives of the CBN have driven the accelerated adoption of digital financial services in Nigeria.
He noted that the national domestic card scheme shall be delivered through the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) Plc, Nigeria’s central switch, in conjunction with the Bankers Committee and other financial ecosystem stakeholders.
“It will foster innovation within the Nigerian domestic market, while enabling African and international interoperability, allowing banks and other institutions to offer a variety of solutions including debit, credit, virtual, loyalty, and tokenized cards amongst others,” he said.
“Considering the strength and breadth of its banking sector and the rapid growth and transformation of its payments system over the last decade, Nigeria is ideally positioned to successfully launch a national card scheme,” he said.
He added Nigeria remains the most vibrant economy in Africa benefiting from the pace of digitisation and innovation, alongside the expansion of mobile penetration.
“Building on this platform to accelerate financial inclusion requires infrastructure that can deliver lower cost payments services that are more accessible and affordable for Nigerians. Domesticating our card scheme also enhances data sovereignty, enabling the development of locally relevant products and services and reduces demands on foreign exchange,” he said.
Nwanisobi explained the scheme can be leveraged as a platform for the seamless dissemination of government-to-person payments and other social impact initiatives, enhancing financial access and supporting the growth of a robust and inclusive digital economy.
“Nigeria joins a growing list of countries – India, Turkey, China, and Brazil as leading examples – which have launched domestic card schemes and harnessed the transformative benefits for their respective payments and financial systems, particularly for the underbanked,” he said.
“The CBN recognizes the significant benefits from delivering Africa’s first central bank-driven, domestic card scheme, which, when delivered at scale, has the potential to become the largest in Africa, and one of the largest in the world”.