Nigerian banks begin migration to chip and PIN technology

Nigerian banks begin migration to chip and PIN technology

Nigerian financial institutions Access Bank and United Bank of Africa (UBA) have chosen technology from IT security vendor Thales to secure migration to chip and PIN.

The banks are using Thales' Host Security Module (HSM) 8000 to secure transactions as they convert cards currently in circulation to the EMV standard. Access Bank and UBA are the first banks in Nigeria to offer improved security via EMV.

Thales says HSM 8000 will support the issuing, acquiring, switching and clearing needs for the processing of the EMV chip card transactions for Access Bank and UBA.

Thales is working on the migration from its RG7000 hardware to the HSM 8000 with its partner in Nigeria, InterSwitch.

Mitchel Elegbe, MD, InterSwitch, says: "We are using the open standards and proven technology to make our already safe payment system even more secure, and although 'chip and PIN' migration in other parts of the world have been very expensive exercise that take many years to complete, we have been able to achieve this in Nigeria in only a few months at a fraction of the cost - and the migration will be completed before the end of December 2007."

The Central Bank of Nigeria is driving the migration to Chip and PIN and wants the country's banks to switch by 2008.

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