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Nigerian National e-ID Card Wins Award for Financial Inclusion

The Nigerian National Electronic Identity (e-ID) card, powered by MasterCard, has been named “the Best Financial Inclusion Product” at this year’s Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Card, ATM and Mobile Expo Awards, held in Lagos last week.  Supported by Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System and CBN, the award recognises the payment product that has effectively expanded financial inclusion and advanced Nigeria’s cashless policy.
The National e-ID card with MasterCard’s prepaid payments functionality is currently being issued by the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to 13 million Nigerians 16 years and older as part of a pilot program launched in August 2014.  Upon completion of the pilot program, NIMC plans to introduce more than 100 million cards to Nigeria’s 170 million citizens, making this the largest  rollout of a an electronic payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion program in Africa.
[ad id=”187″]“We are extremely honoured to receive this prestigious award, which recognises the strides we are making in providing a convenient, safe, and cost effective electronic payments product to Nigerians – 64 percent of whom do not have a bank account,” says Barr. Chris ‘E Onyemenam, Director General and CEO of NIMC. “Combining an identity card with MasterCard’s prepaid payment capability creates a game changer as it breaks down the most significant barrier to financial inclusion – proof of identity – while simultaneously enabling Nigerians to access state-of-the-art financial services.”
National IDUsing the e-ID as a payments tool, cardholders can deposit funds, save, withdraw cash at ATMs, and pay for goods and services at any of the millions of MasterCard acceptance locations globally or via online shopping portals. The card also enables citizens to receive funds electronically including government subsidies, social grants, salaries and other disbursements, rather than physically transporting themselves to receive the cash, which is costly, unsafe and inconvenient.
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“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,” says Omokehinde Ojomuyide, Vice President and Area Business Head for West Africa, MasterCard. “Through the e-ID program, we are creating an avenue to help citizens better manage their finances, and participate in the mainstream economy.”

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