Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Mr Godwin Emefiele has announced plan to ban dollar charge for online transactions made within Nigeria. Emefiele also said the CBN and the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System will soon come up with a method to exit the current debit cards from eligibility for domestic transactions.

Mr Emefiele made the announcement on Thursday during a virtual launch of the National Domestic Card Scheme. The card was launched by the CBN in conjunction with Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) Plc.

The CBN governor said the newly launched National Domestic Card Scheme bodes opportunities for the nation’s economy to integrate the informal segment of the economy, reduce shadow banking and bring more Nigerians into the formal financial services with attendant diversification of deposit portfolio which will further strengthen the stability of the banking industry.

“All domestic transactions that are going to be conducted in Nigeria will have to be through the Nigerian domestic cards,” Emefiele said.

Emefiele said whilst the penetration of card payments in Nigeria has grown tremendously over the years, many Nigerians are still excluded.

The challenges that have limited the inclusion of Nigerians include the high cost of card services as a result of foreign exchange requirements of international card schemes and the fact that existing card products do not address local peculiarities of the Nigerian market.

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He said the card will help to address Nigeria’s local peculiarities. “This scheme is therefore an important plug in the gap that has remained with us since the cash-less policy was introduced,” he stated.

Mr Emefiele said the aim is not to prevent international service providers from continuing to provide services in Nigeria. He said the new card is aimed at providing more options for domestic consumers whilst also promoting the delivery of services in a more innovative, cost effective and competitive manner.

Emefiele said the CBN is committed to a robust, efficient and safe national payments system and welcomes innovation from both domestic firms and foreign investors.

“The Nigerian market is vast, and the current participants have done so much in the last twelve years to transform the ecosystem. Yet there is much ground to be covered as millions of Nigerians are yet without payments cards to consummate transactions,” he stated.

The CBN governor said the domestic card scheme is another collaborative effort of payment ecosystem stakeholders in Nigeria for the greater benefit of all Nigerians.