Nigeria launches e-ID Card Programme to Boost Financial Inclusion
In August 2014, the Nigerian Government launched a pilot programme to issue Nigerian National Electronic Identity (“e-ID”) cards to 70 million Nigerians who are 16 years old and above by the end of 2019.
The e-ID card combines payment capability and breaks down most significant barriers to financial inclusion including proof of identity, while simultaneously enabling Nigerian to access state-of-the-art financial services.
It will also allow users (including the unbanked population) to make payments for goods and services in any part of the world, deposit funds and withdraw cash at ATMs.
The National Identity Management Commission (“NIMC”) is working in collaboration with MasterCard (payments technology provider), Unified Payment Services Limited (payments processor), Cryptovision (Public Key Infrastructure and Trust Services Provider), and Access Bank. The NIMC, on completion of the pilot programme, will announce its payment partners for the mass roll-out of the e-ID card, in addition to MasterCard.
“Too many people lack access to the most basic financial services, leaving them trapped in a cash economy that imposes greater risks and costs on those least able to afford them. Through the e-ID programme, we are creating an avenue to help citizens better manage their finances, and participate in the mainstream economy,” said Omokehinde Ojomuyide, Vice President and Area Business Head for West Africa, MasterCard.
The e-ID card programme won “The Best Financial Inclusion Product” at the 2015 Central Bank of Nigeria’s card, ATM and Mobile Expo Awards.