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Nigeria’s e-Payment Strides Need Global Publicity – e-PPAN

One of the major issues that retard the growth of the Nigeria payment system is that it is not being packaged and projected to the outside world despite innovativeness and advancement above others.

This was the view of the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the e-Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (e-PPAN) Onajite Regha, at a Workshop held in Lagos.

According to Regha, the country’s e-Payment system is very sophisticated and rates as one of the best in the world, but because it is not being projected globally, it has remained unknown, and fraud-tagged by the rest of the world.

She opined that the Kenyan e-payment system is globally recognized because of the push and spotlight given to its services, and called on the media to help project the Nigeria e-payment system through highlighting the great strides it has made.

She, therefore, called for collaboration between the media and the e-Payment industry to project the country’s payment selling points globally.

Speaking on behalf of the Director, Banking Services Department, CBN, Dipo Fatokun, Deputy Director, Francis Wasa, pointed to some challenges that have pervaded the e-Payment space to include Cybersecurity, low level of ICT usage and privacy protection issues and unsanctioned use of customer service.

He, however, said that the CBN, as an operator, catalyst and overseer of the industry, had over the years set out to tackle these issues through the implementation of several initiatives geared at reducing fraud in the system, and galvanizing Nigerians to use e-payment and have easy access to its services everywhere.

These initiatives include the implementation of the Nigeria Uniform Bank Account Number (NUBAN); the Cashless Initiative; the Bank Verification Number (BVN); the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF) and establishment of the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF), among others.

He also noted that fraud incidences reduced by about 91 percent with the migration to Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) card from the Chip & Pin in 2010; also that with 25 Mobile Money licenses and establishment of Agent networks, the country is set to spread the use of e-payment services to the rural and remote communities.

Regha had canvassed for the establishment of a body that will serve as a veritable link between all stakeholders in the e-payment industry and the media as a means of ensuring easy access to verified information in the e-payment space.

Director-General of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC) Babatunde Irukera charged the media not only to disseminate information but also join hands with other stakeholders to shape the e-payment industry through understanding and making inputs in policy formation in the industry.

“Payment System should be scrutinized to know when the problem is from them and when it is not”

He opined that the most important issues in e-commerce today border on Data Security, trust and confidence in payment channels.

In his speech, Executive Director, Business Development, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, Plc, Niyi Ajao, said that Nigeria is still on track to meet the 20 percent financial exclusion target by the year 2020, from its present 41.6 percent, down from a survey conducted in 2008 by a development finance organization, which revealed that about 53 percent of adults were excluded from financial services.

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