CBN introduces the AfriGo Nigerian Domestic Card and bans dollar charges for domestic purchases.
The Nigerian National Domestic Card Scheme, known as AfriGo, was introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in an effort to build a more reliable payment system and promote financial inclusion in the nation.
The Central Bank of Nigeria’s Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said this morning that all card transaction fees would going forward be paid in Naira, with the exception of overseas transactions.
He said that AfriGo will be more affordable, a source of national pride, and have the ability to increase financial inclusion.
“The National Domestic Card gives us the sovereignty over our data,” Emefiele remarked. Additionally, it is less expensive, and finally, there is the currency conversion problem.
“It is vital for me to explain that we have developed this card at this time, when foreign exchange problems continue to plague the world, to ensure that all card online transactions will now, starting immediately, start to go on the Nigerian National Domestic System.
“I am confident that the CBN will announce the cut-off at some point in the upcoming weeks. The Nigerian Domestic Cards must be used for all domestic card transactions that take place in Nigeria.
“Your current cards work just fine. You may still use them, but since charges made with international credit cards are made in US dollars, we will no longer pay those charges in US dollars.
“Only charges for transactions carried out outside of Nigeria will be paid in dollars. Nigerian banks, the CBN, and NIBSS will collaborate to determine how to separate those transactions. to guarantee that we pay any fees or charges for transactions made on either domestic cards—Visa or Master Card, as they are currently known—that are performed internationally.
At some time in the very near future, we will ban domestic charges from the Nigerian foreign exchange market.
The governor claimed that the implementation of AfriGo was not intended to stifle foreign investment in Nigerian payments but rather was necessary due to its clear benefits.
“This effort is not a move to stop foreign service providers from continuing to offer services in Nigeria,” he declared. Instead, it promoted the delivery of services in a more economical and competitive way while giving domestic consumers more options.
“The CBN welcomes innovations from both domestic and foreign investors and is dedicated to a strong and secure payment system.
“The Nigerian market is enormous, and the present actors have transformed the ecosystem during the last 12 years. However, there is still a lot of ground to overcome because millions of Nigerians lack the necessary cards to complete transactions.
“I am convinced that the National Domestic Card scheme will make this a reality in the coming months. We can no longer neglect the vast majority of Nigerians.”