March 26, 2023

The Nigerian National Domestic Card Scheme, known as AfriGo, was introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) with the goal of establishing a more reliable payment system that would promote financial inclusion in the nation.

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said that the apex bank is planning to prohibit payment of charges (in dollars) on card transactions within the country in the coming weeks when virtually introducing the card on Thursday.

He claimed that going forward, all card transaction fees, aside from those involving foreign transactions, would be paid in Naira.

Emefiele listed the National Domestic Card’s benefits, saying that it gives us data sovereignty. Additionally, it is more affordable, and finally, there is the currency conversion problem.

“At this time when foreign exchange issues are still prevalent worldwide, it is crucial for me to explain that we developed this card to make sure that all online card transactions would now, starting immediately, begin to proceed on the Nigerian National Domestic Card System.

“I am certain that the CBN will announce the cut-off at some time in the upcoming weeks. Nigerian Domestic Cards must be used for all domestic card transactions.

“Your current cards work just fine. You may still use them, but since charges made with international credit cards are made in US dollars, we will no longer pay those charges in US dollars.

“Only charges for transactions carried out outside of Nigeria will be paid in dollars. In order to ensure that we pay fees or charges for international transactions that are carried out on both domestic cards, Visa or Master Cards, as they are known today, NIBSS, CBN, and Nigerian banks will collaborate to discover how to segregate those transactions.

“At some time in the very near future, we will prohibit domestic charges from the Nigerian foreign exchange market.”

He continued by saying that the launch of AfriGo was not intended to dissuade foreign investors from operating in Nigeria’s payments sector but rather that it had become necessary due to its evident benefits.

Nigeria is a regional leader in terms of international payment trends, according to Mr. Andrew Walden of Aquila Payment Consulting, the Technical Consultants for AfriGo, who also noted that the nation is now prepared to take advantage of the local card scheme’s prospects.

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