The Central Bank of Nigeria and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) have launched the country’s first National payment card, AfriGo.
The card, Afrigo, was developed by AfriGopay Financial Services Limited, an affiliate of NIBSS.
The Deputy Governor of the Central Bank who is also the Chairman of NIBSS, Aisha Ahmad explained that the Afrigo card provided numerous advantages and opportunities for the country and businesses.
She said some of the benefits and potentials of the card for the domestic industry include: improved transaction security, better pricing opportunities, reduced demand for FX, less pressure on the Naira, locally relevant partnerships and offerings developing local skills in card and payment space.
The Governor of the Central Bank(CBN), Godwin Emefiele, while speaking at the virtual event also hailed the virtues of the card. Emefiele explained that the introduction of the cards would reduce the need for forex to acquire foreign cards while also promoting financial inclusion.
The CBN Governor also allayed the fears of international card operators by explaining that the card was not targeted at them, but rather designed to provide more options for Nigerians.
It is still unclear how much impact the new card would have on the use of forex locally. If the costs are generally lower than presently available cards in the industry, it could see a higher adoption rates, making the CBN strategy a success in reducing the demand for forex in the economy.