MasterCard endorses Nigeria’s call for transition to cashless economy

Global payment solutions firm MasterCard Worldwide has added voice to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) call for Nigerians to embrace and switch to the digital regime of a cashless economy.

At a workshop this week in Lagos, MasterCard through its country manager for West Africa Omokehinde Ojomuyide revealed its global vision of a cashless world, a position it said is being shared by Nigeria’s top banks.

“MasterCard envisions a world beyond cash, a goal that mirrors the cashless policy conceptualized by the CBN. We support this policy that aims to modernize the country’s payment systems,” Omokehinde stated.

The workshop, focused on promoting card acceptance best practices, is putting more emphasis on the improvement of the current security status of cards issued, identification and management of fraudulent transactions, Points of Sale (PoS) and several other aspects of Nigeria’s budding cashless economy.

Omokehinde expressed that a vital key element of the cashless economy is the reduction of the cost of banking services as well as lowering cost of cash. She added that the cashless economy will grow financial inclusion through the provision of transaction options that are more efficient and that have greater reach.

“It also aims to curb the high cost of using and accepting cash as a payment method, and prevent corruption, leakage, money laundering and other fraudulent activities that cash can enable,” she said.

Omokehinde further mentioned the global annual cash usage of $8.3 trillion expended on consumer purchases that are made outside the formal economy using cash.

“This [amount] includes an estimated $6.8 trillion of underground economy purchases and approximately $1.5 trillion in illegal purchases. On the other hand, electronic payments, by its very nature, create a clear and concise record of payments made,” she said.

With record readily available for payments made, she said electronic platforms can aid financial crime prevention, and Nigerian businesses can enjoy the benefits of having formal insights into the financial activities of their company.

“They now have the ability to closely monitor income and expenditure by persons authorized to transact on their behalf,” she added.

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