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MasterCard to Power Nigerian Identity Card Programme

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Image: MD of NIMC,  Mr. Chris Onyemenam



The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and MasterCard have announced the rollout of 13 million MasterCard-branded National Identity Smart Cards with electronic payment capability as a pilot programme under its card scheme.

The National Identity Smart Card is the card scheme under the recently deployed National Identity Management System (NIMS). This programme is the largest rollout of a formal electronic payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion initiative of its kind on the African continent.

The Director General/Chief Executive of the NIMC, Mr. Chris Onyemenam, said in a statement: “We have chosen MasterCard to be the payment technology provider for the initial rollout of the National Identity Smart Card project because the company has shown a commitment to furthering financial inclusion through the reduction of cash in the Nigerian economy.”

As part of the programmev, in its first phase, Nigerians 16 years and above, and all residents in the country for more than two years, will get the new multipurpose identity card which has 13 applications including MasterCard’s prepaid payment technology that will provide cardholders with the safety, convenience and reliability of electronic payments. This will have a significant and positive impact on the lives of these Nigerians who have not previously had access to financial services.

The project will have Access Bank Plc as the pilot issuer bank for the cards and Unified Payment Services Limited (Unified Payments) as the payment processor. Other issuing banks will include United Bank for Africa, Union Bank, Zenith, Skye Bank, Unity Bank, Stanbic, and First Bank.

The announcement was witnessed by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who stressed the importance of the National Identity Smart Card scheme in moving Nigeria to an electronic platform.

“This programme is good practice for us to bring all the citizens on a common platform for interacting with the various government agencies and for transacting electronically. We will implement this initiative in a collaborative manner between the public and private sectors, to achieve its full potential of inclusive citizenship and more effective governance,” she said.

Also, the Businesswire quoted the Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede said: “Access Bank’s involvement in this project is testament to our ongoing efforts to expand financial inclusion in Nigeria.”


Article Credit: Thisday Newspaper

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Updated 7 Years ago

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