Responding to banks’ efforts to reach out to people who do not typically use financial services, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan this week inaugurated the first Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) certified smart card manufacturing plant in sub-Saharan Africa.
he plant, built by Nigeria-based SecureID, will be based in the country's commercial capital, Lagos, and produce mostly payment cards such as credit, debit and prepaid or personalized card services with various combinations of functions including payment (Visa/MasterCard/Verve), photo identification, Mifare contactless access control and biometric match-on cards. It is fully Nigerian-owned and 95 percent of its staff will be composed of local workers. The plant will have annual production capacity for 200 million cards.
“Smart cards or cards with embedded chips are key to our digital existence,” according to a statement from Jonathan. “Consider the everyday uses to which we put various SIM cards, biometric identity cards, and debit and credit cards used in the finance industry. Increasingly, they are becoming part of our personal and corporate staple.”