One of the leading commercial banks in Nigeria, Access Bank, has partnered with AfriGOpay, a financial services firm affiliated with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) to launch the first Nigerian national domestic card designed to meet the needs of the Nigerian payment industry.
The plan as endorsed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), is expected to provide innovative solutions to users of financial services in Nigeria, Africa, and across the globe.
In his speech, the Access Bank Deputy Managing Director, Retail Banking, Victor Etuokwu, described it as a good achievement in the fast-growing payment industry. He added that it will strengthen payment security as well as good expansion in financial participation.
“The launch of AfriGO is another milestone in the development of a vibrant and rapidly expanding payments industry. Consumers demand value in real-time, not just transactions. With AfriGO, we can provide valuable card benefits, robust loyalty rewards, and a compelling incentive to utilize electronic payments rather than cash.
“The AfriGO Card has additional benefits because it is designed to facilitate the growth of Nigeria’s payment ecosystem, thereby supporting more tailored payment services. It will strengthen payment security, expand financial participation, guarantee data sovereignty, eliminate FX dependency, and provide Nigerians with several other benefits. Cardholders will enjoy increased affordability and more flexible payment options.”
In his contribution, the Access Bank Senior Retail Adviser, Robert Giles stated that the card scheme was designed to meet the local needs of all Nigerians, especially in this crucial time for national payment.
“The National card scheme operates locally, and it is tailored to the specific needs of the country. We have also recorded successful purchases on POS and ATMs which began on March 14, 2023.
“Domestic ownership of a local card scheme eliminates demand on foreign exchange and reduces the cost of transacting. It will also help us partner with local fintechs and payment companies to build solutions on the AfriGO scheme that solve customers’ pain points.”
Giles noted that this comes at a crucial time for the national payments’ infrastructure where demand for convenient cash alternatives is at a peak, saying “we believe that the AfriGO scheme is a new building block that will support continued progress in the payments system, building on Nigeria’s position as the sixth most developed real-time payments market in the world.”
According to the MD/CEO of NIBSS, Premier Oiwoh, the payments landscape in Nigeria has continued to develop via seamless and convenient real-time electronic payment solutions driven by innovation and advancement in technology.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director, NIBSS, Aminu Maida added that the technological advancement will give Nigerians more payment options and expressed his satisfaction with the scheme.
“With technological advancements, there are more options for payments and the recently launched national domestic card scheme, AfriGO gives us assured comfort on all financial transactions. We are excited that Access Bank is the first to key into our belief of AfriGO’s immense value to the Nigerian financial ecosystem.”