Access Bank has partnered with AfriGOpay, a financial services business affiliated with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), to launch the first national domestic card designed to meet the needs of the payment industry.
Championed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the NIBSS, the scheme will provide innovative solutions to users of financial services in Nigeria, Africa, and across the global markets, according to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Victor Etuokwu, Deputy Managing Director, Retail Banking, said: “It is with excitement that we announce that Access Bank, Nigeria’s largest retail bank with over 60million customers is the first financial institution to successfully issue the first live card of Nigeria’s National card scheme, AfriGO.
“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,” Etuokwu added.
Robert Giles, Senior Retail Advisor, Access Bank, while speaking on the product launch, said the national card scheme operates locally and 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 fintech and payment companies to build solutions on the AfriGO scheme that solve customers’ pain points.
“This comes at a crucial time for the national payments’ infrastructure where demand for convenient cash alternatives is at a peak. 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 6th most developed real-time payments market in the world.”
Premier Oiwoh, the MD/CEO of NIBSS noted that the payments landscape in Nigeria has continued to evolve via seamless and convenient real-time electronic payment solutions driven by innovation and advancement in technology.
“The launch of our national domestic card scheme is very timely. AfriGO will drive our financial inclusion goals amongst many benefits, and we are thrilled that Access Bank is the first bank in Nigeria to issue AfriGO cards to its customers.
“Access Bank has demonstrated the much-needed commitment to enhancing financial inclusion, and we urge other financial institutions to commence issuing AfriGO for more accessible and convenient payments for all Nigerians, regardless of their location or financial status.”
Aminu Maida, Executive Director, NIBSS, said, “With technological advancements, there are more options for payments. 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.”