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Nigeria’s Central Bank says ATMs, POS will be biometric by 2015


Debit cards could soon be obsolete in Nigeria.

The Central Bank of Nigeria is set to introduce biometric authentication for point-of-sale (POS) and ATM transactions by 2015. Reported in Leadership.ng, the Central Bank governor, Sanusi Lamido made comments suggesting the 2015 transition during a stakeholders’ meeting on cashless policy in Abuja earlier this week.

According to the report, one of the major challenges is fostering the adoption of this new biometric system will be displacing cash as the preferred means of payment in the country, as costs associated with cash payments are rising.

Nigeria has recently initiated many biometric-based systems for its citizens.

Most recently, The Nigerian National Identity Management Commission and MasterCard announced the introduction of 13 million MasterCard-branded National Identity Smart Cards, which include electronic payment capabilities, as well as unique National Identification Numbers which include biometrics.

As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, in 2012, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) of Nigeria announced its proposal to capture the biometrics of every Nigerian and issue national identity numbers within a period of only 30 months. In January of this year, the National Population Commission announced it had started a comprehensive biometric capture exercise.

Later in 2012, Chairman of the National Population Commission, Festus Odimegwu said other government agencies (such as the NIMC) which had been collecting biometric data will pool that information with the NPC. The chairman also controversially suggested that any Nigerian who is not captured in this most recent demographic survey will not be recognized as a citizen of Nigeria after the 2016 national population census.

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