Nigeria's InterSwitch to issue MasterCard Chip and PIN debit cards

Source: MasterCard

MasterCard Worldwide, a global payment solutions company, and InterSwitch Limited, responsible for the Verve payment card brand in Nigeria, have announced that they have entered into a strategic co-brand debit card agreement.

The agreement will enable the launch of the MasterCard Verve - a chip and PIN debit card which would enable cardholders to enjoy the combined benefits of Verve and MasterCard such as wider acceptance throughout Nigeria and around the world as well as extensive cardholder protection. It is expected that the first MasterCard Verve debit cards will become available through the banks in early February 2011.

The new debit card will afford cardholders peace of mind as it will provide them with a secure and efficient way of using their debit card for daily purchases and accessing their cash at over 12,000 point of sale locations, 400 online merchants and at 10,000 ATMs throughout Nigeria.

The cards will also give Nigerians news levels of global debit card acceptance while greatly reducing their need to rely on cash for everyday purchases as MasterCard branded cards are currently accepted at more than 30 million acceptance locations around the world

According to Daniel Monehin, MasterCard's Area Head, East & West Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, "The co-branded debit card agreement with InterSwitch aims to usher in a new era in convenient and secure payments for Nigerians and through this collaboration, cardholders will have the ability to use a single card for domestic and international transacting.

"Furthermore, MasterCard Verve debit cardholders will have the ability to use their debit cards in even more places, unlocking the true potential of chip and PIN cards as a safe and convenient method of payment. The MasterCard Verve co-branded debit card is fully Nigerian and fully international."

Cardholder protection is of paramount importance to MasterCard, and MasterCard Verve debit card holders can rest easy knowing that if their card was ever compromised or stolen while travelling they would be able to receive either a replacement card from their bank or a cash advance through MasterCard's Global Service™ .

According to the Director Payment Solutions, InInterSwitch, Charles Ifedi, "the MasterCard-InterSwitch alliance is a milestone in the history of the company, but more importantly it enables InterSwitch to provide cardholders with what they deserve, more convenience at home and abroad. MasterCard Verve debit cardholders will be the first cardholders in Nigeria to have local and international acceptance and be able to access a range of value added services.

"With Quickteller™, cardholders will get instant 24-hour reconnection to a variety of local and regional services such as DSTV, AIRTEL, HITV and PHCN. In addition, the MasterCard Verve debit card offers fantastic price points and significant benefits to cardholders locally, regionally and internationally", he added.

One of the objectives of the Central Bank of Nigeria's Financial System Strategy 2020 (FSS 2020) is to advance the efficiency of the country's e-payment systems, by reducing the reliance on cash and promoting interoperability among financial institutions. The co-brand debit agreement between MasterCard and InterSwitch will contribute positively towards this vision.

"MasterCard is delighted to introduce this highly functional debit card to the public and looks forward to empowering Nigerians with meaningful, convenient and secure payments solutions," Monehin concludes.

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