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By NBF News
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The number of payment cardholders in Nigeria has reached the 10 million mark. Director of Payment and Business Expansion, Interswitch, Mr. Charles Ifedi disclosed this during the commencement of the second edition of the Verve Card national promo.

He said on weekly basis, hundreds of thousands of Nigerians are registering at the bank branches to obtain Verve cards , the ongoing Verve promo would play a major role in boosting the number of  ATM cards in circulation.

He explained that the rationale behind this, aside from giving the cardholders the opportunity to participate in the promo and the protection Verve offers cardholders against any form of electronic fraud, 'Verve also is the only card that gives cardholders more value.'

The introduction of the cashless society policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is also encouraging bank customers to pick up Verve card as soon as they open their bank accounts. Verve promo would assist the CBN policy, as the promo is encouraging non-cardholders to embrace

card usage while urging the existing cardholders to use the card more for payment of goods and services across several touch points such as ATM and PoS.

The apex bank has set in motion steps to encourage the banking public to use electronic payment solutions such as automated teller machines, PoS terminals, web banking, telephone banking and mobile money  transfer to reduce cash in circulation. The first phase of the policy would commence in Lagos in January 2012.

Interswitch is working with the banks to push the card usage through the Verve promo, which rewards cardholders who renew their cards or use the same on ATM, PoS, web and mobile across the country. There are over 800,000 gift items to be won by cardholders.  The items include generators, 32' LCD television, iPads, BlackBerry smart phones, deep freezers and instant items such as branded T-shirts, MP3, flash drive and more.