The Nigerian government has commenced the roll out of 13 million MasterCard-branded National Identity Smart Cards with biometric and electronic payment capability as a pilot programme.
In the first phase of the programme, 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 utilising EMV Chip and PIN.
The enrollment process involves the recording of an individual's demographic and biometric data, including the capture of 10 fingerprints, facial picture and digital signature.
Access Bank will act as the pilot issuer bank for the cards and Unified Payment Services as the payment processor. Other issuing banks will include United Bank for Africa, Union Bank, Zenith, Skye Bank, Unity Bank, Stanbic, and First Bank.
Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, CEO of Access Bank, says: "The new identity card will revolutionise 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."
The cardholder can deposit funds on the card, receive social benefits, pay for goods and services and withdraw cash from all ATMs that accept MasterCard.
Upon completion of the National ID registration process, NIMC aims to introduce more than 100 million cards to Nigeria's 167 million citizens.