The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), has partnered with e-Gate and Visa to leverage their biometric technology for financial inclusion.
Per the deal, the partners will provide Nigerians with a citizen’s digital ID and a unified biometric payment card as part of ongoing efforts to support the country’s digital economy and digital transformation journeys, according to a statement
“The partnership also intends to provide innovative technology to facilitate secure and seamless payment transactions between businesses and customers,” the statement said.
It said the launch of the special citizens digital ID will be part of the first phase of the project, while the second will see the issuance of the payment cards to be used in the area of healthcare, agriculture, and other small business domains.
The partnership agreement comes just a few months after NASRDA signed a similar one with Abuja-based e-Gate in August focussing on the healthcare and agriculture sectors.
Visa rolled out an authentication framework in partnership with Mastercard early this year in South Africa as part of efforts to simplify merchant payments as part of broader endeavors to support financial inclusion in the country.
“We believe that through our combined efforts, we can drive significant progress in digital transformation and financial inclusion, and over the past few years the ICT sector, healthcare and agriculture have been leading economic industries contributing to the country’s GDP,” Andrew Oboye, vice president and group head at Visa West Africa, said.
“Our goal is to help individuals and economies prosper, and we are committed to helping governments adopt technologies and automation that achieve full digitization, efficiency in financial operations, accountability, and improved delivery of citizen services,” he added.
Halilu Ahmad, director-general at NASRDA, said the partnership will contribute to Nigeria’s digital transformation and financial inclusion push.
“The agreement strengthens the organisation’s strategic plan for digital transformation and provides financial inclusion as part of Nigeria’s digital transformation journey. The memorandum of understanding with Visa and eGate ensures the implementation of the latest digital financial services to support the government’s agenda,” he added.
He noted that the implementation of digital solutions through the memorandum of understanding will meet the ambitions and requirements of users throughout the country.
According to Essam Al-Saghir, e-Gate chairman, the deal provides a platform for the country to further digitise government services and make access to them seamless.