MasterCard to Power Nigerian Identity Card Program

  MasterCard to Power Nigerian Identity Card Program

 13 Million Cards to be issued first, in largest card rollout of its kind in

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Business Wire

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- May 08, 2013

The Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and MasterCard
today announced at the World Economic Forum on Africa the roll-out of 13
million MasterCard-branded National Identity Smart Cards with electronic
payment capability as a pilot program. The National Identity Smart Card is the
Card Scheme under the recently deployed National Identity Management System
(NIMS). This program is the largest roll-out of a formal electronic payment
solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion initiative of its
kind on the African continent.

The Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) will be issuing
MasterCard-branded Natio ...

The Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) will be issuing
MasterCard-branded National Identity Smart Cards with electronic payment
capability. This program is the largest roll-out of a formal electronic
payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion
initiative of its kind on the African continent.

As part of the program, in its first phase, Nigerians 16 years and older, and
all residents in the country for more than two years, will get the new
multipurpose identity card which has 13 applications including MasterCard’s
prepaid payment technology that will provide cardholders with the safety,
convenience and reliability of electronic payments. This will have a
significant and positive impact on the lives of these Nigerians who have not
previously had access to financial services.

The Project will have Access Bank Plc as the pilot issuer bank for the cards
and Unified Payment Services Limited (Unified Payments) as the payment
processor. Other issuing banks will include United Bank for Africa, Union
Bank, Zenith, Skye Bank, Unity Bank, Stanbic, and First Bank.

The announcement was witnessed by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance
and Coordinating Minister for the Economy in Nigeria, who stressed the
importance of the National Identity Smart Card Scheme in moving Nigeria to an
electronic platform. This program is good practice for us to bring all the
citizens on a common platform for interacting with the various government
agencies and for transacting electronically. We will implement this initiative
in a collaborative manner between the public and private sectors, to achieve
its full potential of inclusive citizenship and more effective governance,”
she said.

“Today’s announcement is the first phase of an unprecedented project in terms
of scale and scope for Nigeria,” said Michael Miebach, President, Middle East
and Africa, MasterCard. “MasterCard has been a firm supporter of the Central
Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Cashless Policy as we share a vision of a world beyond
cash. From the program’s inception, we have provided the Federal Government of
Nigeria with global insights and best practices on how electronic payments can
enable economic growth and create a more financially inclusive economy”.

Chris ‘E Onyemenam, the Director General and Chief Executive of the National
Identity Management Commission, said “We have chosen MasterCard to be the
payment technology provider for the initial rollout of the National Identity
Smart Card project because the Company has shown a commitment to furthering
financial inclusion through the reduction of cash in the Nigerian economy.” He
added “MasterCard has pioneered large scale card schemes that combine
biometric functionality with electronic payments and we want to capitalize on
their experience in this field to make our program rollout a sustainable
success for the country and for the continent.”

“Access Bank’s involvement in this project is testament to our ongoing efforts
to expand financial inclusion in Nigeria,” said Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, CEO of
Access Bank. “The new identity card will revolutionize the Nigerian economic
landscape, breaking down one of the most significant barriers to financial
inclusion – proof of identity, while simultaneously providing Nigerians with a
world class payment solution”.

“Unified Payments is the foremost transaction processor and pioneer of EMV
processing and acquiring in Nigeria, owned by leading Nigerian banks. We will
use our expertise and experience to guarantee the success of the project and
ensure that the data of Nigerians are protected. We look forward to working
with other partners in delivering value to all stakeholders’’, said Agada
Apochi, Managing Director and CEO, Unified Payments.

The new National Identity Smart Card will incorporate the unique National
Identification Numbers (NIN) of duly registered persons in the country. The
enrollment process involves the recording of an individual’s demographic data
and biometric data (capture of 10 fingerprints, facial picture and digital
signature) that are used to authenticate the cardholder and eliminate fraud
and embezzlement. The resultant National Identity Database will provide the
platform for several other value propositions of the NIMC including identity
authentication and verification.

Thanks to the unique and unambiguous identification of individuals under the
NIMS, other identification card schemes like the Driver’s License, Voters
Registration, Health Insurance, Tax, SIM and the National Pension Commission
(PENCOM) will benefit and can all be integrated, using the NIN, into the
multi-function Card Scheme of the NIMS. When fully utilizing the card as a
prepaid payment tool, the cardholder can deposit funds on the card, receive
social benefits, pay for goods and services at any of the 35 million
MasterCard acceptance locations globally, withdraw cash from all ATMs that
accept MasterCard, or engage in many other financial transactions that are
facilitated by electronic payments. All in a secure and convenient environment
enabled by the EMV Chip and Pin standard.

Upon completion of the National ID registration process, NIMC aims to
introduce more than 100 million cards to Nigeria’s 167 million citizens.

About MasterCard

MasterCard(NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the
global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing
network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments
and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s
products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping,
traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and
more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the
discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest

About NIMC

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) was established by the NIMC
Act No.23, 2007 as the primary legal, regulatory and institutional mechanism
for implementing a reliable and sustainable national identity management
system that will enable Nigerian citizens and legal residents assert their
identity. The Act mandates the NIMC to create, own, operate and manage a
national identity database, issue national identification numbers to
registered individuals, provide identity authentication and verification
services, issue multipurpose smartcards, integrate identity databases across
government agencies and foster the orderly development of the identity sector
in Nigeria. The Act also empowered the NIMC to collaborate with any public and
or private sector organization to realize its objectives.

About Unified Payments

Unified Payments is owned by a consortium of Nigerian Banks. Our core
businesses comprise Processing, Merchant Acquiring, Switching, Payment
Terminal Services and provision of Value Added Services & Solutions. Unified
Payments pioneered the issuance and acceptance of EMV Chip + PIN cards in
Nigeria, leading to reduction of ATM fraud in Nigeria by over 95%. The company
enabled Nigerian banks and merchants for the first time ever to accept foreign
cards at ATMs and Points of Sale Terminals, and also pioneered the issuance of
Naira cards that are globally accepted.

About Access Bank

Access Bank Plc is a full service commercial Bank operating through a network
of over 300 branches and service outlets located in major centres across
Nigeria, Sub Saharan Africa and the United Kingdom. Listed on the Nigerian
Stock Exchange, the Bank has over 800,000 shareholders and has enjoyed what is
arguably Africa's most successful banking growth trajectory in the last ten
years ranking amongst Africa's top 20 banks by total assets and capital in
2011. As part of its continued growth strategy, Access Bank has made
sustainable business core to all its operations. The Bank strives to deliver
sustainable economic growth that is profitable, environmentally responsible
and socially relevant.

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For media inquiries please contact:
MasterCard Middle East & Africa
Sami Lahoud,  +971 56 216 9273
Ben Alofoje, +234 80 2321 16450
Assistant Director/Head Research and Strategy
Unified Payment Services Ltd
Felix Edionwe, +234 80 6236 8638
Access Bank Plc
Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, +234 703 411 2651
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