After the important 11-digit NIN has been obtained by an individual, it can be used for identification and verification very easily or used for downloading and printing a physical Improved NIN Slip or even for obtaining the tokenized Virtual NIN.
The NIN can also be used in banks to obtain personalised payment smart cards which also double as verified means of identification for the cardholders. The card, once available to the public, can be obtained by both the banked and unbanked, so people without bank accounts are not left out, particularly in rural areas.
Collaboration between NIMC, CBN and NIBSS
The Central Bank of Nigeria met with representatives of Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) and NIMC to deliberate on an indigenous national payment card scheme called ‘AfriGo’.
The AfriGo card was designed for all domestic cashless transactions in a secure manner with all users’ data safely handled locally – proudly Nigerian.
In addition, it would come with the option to include users’ ID features thereby also serving as a means of verified identification.
Rather than act as an identity solution layered on payment features as with in the previous plan from NIMC, the card would be a payment solution layered on identity. This would enable users to get their cards faster leveraging existing bank printing setups as well as NIMC’s NIN verification service.
Persons Eligible for the Card
The card will be issued by banks to individuals who have attained the age of 18 years and above.
Digital Features of the Card
- Electronic Identification (e-ID) including date of birth, nationality, address, height, gender and so on, via the smart chip
- EMV payment (contact and contactless) also via the smart chip
- NQR payment feature
More digital features are planned for future updates on the card’s chip.
Design Features of the Card
Card Body – Front
- Bank logo and branding
- Smart chip
- Cardholder’s passport photograph and signature
- Card’s Primary Account Number (PAN) number
- ATM Card expiry date
- Cardholder’s full name (surname, first name and middle name)
- Nigerian Coat of Arms image
- AfriGo logo
Card Body – Back
- Nigeria Quick Response (NQR) Code
- Card Security Code
- Identity Card issue date
- Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) lines
- NIMC logo
- AfriGo logo
How to Get the Card
As mentioned earlier, the card can be obtained by both banked and unbanked individuals.
- First the person goes to the nearest bank or bank-approved centre and makes a request for the payment card layered on identity.
- The person provides his or her NIN for identity verification and proof of minimum age of 18 years.
- The bank sends the NIN to NIMC and receives relevant authorised identity data in the specified format.
- The bank uses the verified identity data to securely prepare the standard EMV data for the card before getting it personlised and printed on by a partner bureau.
- The bank then issues the finished card to the person who made the request it, now the cardholder.
The Identity Part of the Card has No Expiration Date
While the payment feature “ATM card” part of the solution comes with the standard expiry date printed in front, the identity part on the back of the card will only have an issue date signified and no expiry date.
So, when the payment feature of the card expires, the cardholder has a number of options with regards to the continued use of the card:
- go to the bank and request a new payment card layered on identity, discarding the previous one
- continue to use the card only as a valid means of identification but not for payment – a new separate, standalone payment card is requested from the bank
- continue to use the card only as a valid means of identification without requesting a new payment card (especially for the unbanked persons)
The card will still function as an ATM card so it is advisable for users not to give out photocopies or scanned images of it, bearing their sensitive payment details, to unauthorised parties.