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SON looks elsewhere as banks issue substandard electronic cards


Customers of money deposit banks in the country have expressed concerns over the poor quality of electronic cards also known as ATM cards issued to them by their banks, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek has learnt.

They spoke at the just concluded DigitaPay conference held in Lagos. Mr. Julius Nwankwo, compared the cards issued to him by his bank in Netherlands with the one his Nigerian banks issued to him and demonstrated how substandard Nigerian issued cards are.

According to him, ‘my Nigerian bank issued cards don’t last till their expiration date before they change form and are rendered inactive, but this card (he displayed the Netherlands bank issued card) was issued by my bank in Netherlands. I have been using it to travel for a very long time now; it has not changed form and still active’.He wondered what Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) is doing while this anomaly goes on without check.

Responding, Adebayo Olarewaju, head, Digital Banking, First Bank of Nigeria, acknowledged that Nigerian bank issued electronic cards are not comparable to the ones issued in the western countries, but added that it is work in progress and that when banks get their feet in digital banking process quality of cards will improve.He however, expressed worries over absence of will power to drive technological innovation by regulators in the country.

According to him, ‘our regulators does not understand innovation which makes it difficult for them to regulate, this results in the country playing catch-up when other countries have gone far with such technological innovation’.He cited regulatory barriers to lending through FinTech companies. “The way services are rendered to underserve should not be the same way it is done as in normal commercial banking service. As well the way you regulate normal banking should not be the same way you regulate financial inclusion initiative,” he added.

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