The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched the Nigerian National Domestic Card Scheme, AfriGo, aimed at creating a more robust payment system that would drive financial inclusion in the country.
CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, has said that transaction charges on all cards would henceforth be paid in Naira, except for international transactions. Emefiele said the card, which will function like other international payment cards, is aimed at boosting financial inclusion in the country and reducing dependence on foreign cards. He added that “by this initiative, will therefore be joining countries like China, Russia, Turkey and India which have launched domestic card schemes and harnessed the transformative benefits for their respective payments and financial systems, particularly for the underbanked.”
The national domestic card is expected to rival Visa and Mastercard, the market’s biggest players. The announcement follows last year’s decision to phase out old higher denomination bank notes. The new notes came into circulation effect on December 15, 2022.