In a groundbreaking development, Nigerians can now have a single card (Multipurpose Card) that doubles as both an ATM and an identity card. And this will come at no cost at all. By implication, the era of carrying different cards is gradually coming to an end.
On Wednesday, the commercial banks in the country were granted permission to start issuing multipurpose cards that unify ATM access and the National Identity Number (NIN) into a single card.
This decision, announced by the Federal Government, aims to streamline identification and banking services while providing significant benefits to Nigerian citizens.
The move comes as a response to the increasing demand for physical NIN cards, particularly among rural residents.
By collaborating with NIMC and leveraging the existing infrastructure of commercial banks, the government seeks to simplify citizens’ lives and promote financial inclusion.
Benefits for Nigerians
The introduction of multipurpose cards presents numerous advantages for Nigerians. First, individuals will no longer need to carry separate cards for banking transactions and identification purposes.
This consolidation of services into a single card not only enhances convenience but also reduces the risk of misplacing or losing important documents.
Moreover, the issuance of these multipurpose cards at no cost eliminates any financial burden for citizens who may have previously been deterred from obtaining the physical NIN card due to associated fees.
Streamlining the Process
To ensure a smooth implementation, the Federal Executive Council, led by outgoing President, Muhammadu Buhari, approved the decision after a meeting.
Remember, the memo from the National Identity Management Commission catalyzed allowing banks to print these innovative multipurpose cards.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, emphasized that the cards would serve as both a national identity card and a bank card, seamlessly integrating ATM functions from major providers like Mastercard and Visa.
Collaboration and Data Protection
Recognizing the importance of privacy and confidentiality, the NIMC and the Central Bank of Nigeria have signed a nondisclosure agreement, assuring the protection of the personal information of card applicants.
The process of obtaining the multipurpose card involves banks connecting to the NIMC database to verify individual details. Once the verification is complete, the card will be printed and issued immediately, providing a swift and efficient experience for citizens.
According to data as of January 2023, the commission was able to enroll 21.3 million people to the database in 2022, which made the country close last year with 94,037.793. Notably, as of January 2022, the number of NIN issued was 72,700,360.
In addition to the introduction of multipurpose cards, the Federal Executive Council also approved the deployment of an automated system that integrates NINs with individual SIM cards.
This move aims to simplify the process of linking NINs to SIM cards and further enhance the implementation of the policy.
The government’s commitment to embracing technological advancements highlights its dedication to improving efficiency and promoting a seamless convergence of identity verification and banking services.
On the benefits of the NIN-SIM integration, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) the exercise will significantly enhance national security as NIN is the primary identity for Nigerians, stressing that in line with Federal Government’s commitment to ensure that Nigeria deploys technology to improve service delivery, the NIN-SIM database will enhance citizens’ access to government services
The Nigerian government’s decision to introduce multipurpose cards that combine ATM access and the NIN represents a significant leap forward in simplifying identification and banking processes for its citizens.
This initiative streamlines services, reduces the need for multiple cards, and offers a convenient solution to meet the demands of both urban and rural populations.
By leveraging the collaboration between the NIMC and commercial banks, the government aims to create a comprehensive and efficient card that unifies ATM access and NIN functions.
This development signifies the government’s commitment to leveraging technology for the betterment of its citizens’ lives and promoting financial inclusion in Nigeria.
However, the speedy and smooth implementation of this initiative remains a concern.
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