Review of the Guidelines on Contactless Payments


In the ever-evolving landscape of digital payments, the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) Guidelines on Contactless Payments (Guidelines) have become a significant point of discussion.

On June 27, 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria released the Guidelines, whose primary objective is to promote the secure and convenient adoption of contactless payment methods in Nigeria. The guidelines aim to enhance consumer convenience by providing quick and seamless payment options while also fostering financial inclusion through contactless payments and promoting interoperability among different payment providers and systems.

Key Provisions for Stakeholders include:

For the purpose of these guidelines, the relevant stakeholders include: acquirers, issuers, Payment schemes, Card schemes, Switching companies, Payment terminal service providers and aggregators, Merchants, Terminal owners, customers, and any other stakeholder or participant as designated by the CBN.

With regards to duties, Stakeholders must ensure the following:

● Obtain CBN's approval for contactless payment products

● Ensure compliance of terminals and processing systems with the various payment schemes.

● Ensure review and re-certification to comply with global industry standards

● Ensure configuration of Contactless Devices to work within a maximum of 2 cm from the terminal to manage risks of data interception

● Display contactless payment image, symbol, tactile graphics, and/or the words "contactless payments" in Braille

● Ensure customers of Contactless Payment have the option to opt-in or opt-out of the service

Key Provisions on Transaction Limits for Contactless Payments

● CBN shall have the prerogative over appropriate transaction and daily cumulative limits

● Transactions below the transaction limits may not require customer’s authorisation as opposed to transactions above the limits.

● stakeholders can determine transaction limits for various customers based on the due diligence carried out when onboarding in line with CBN limits Other Provisions

● Stakeholders are required to render periodic returns on contactless payment transactions

● Disputes shall be resolved in line with the existing payments industry dispute resolution system and where disputes remain unresolved, stakeholders may escalate to the CBN

The CBN Guidelines on Contactless Payments seek to have a significant impact on Nigeria's financial ecosystem and digital transactions. It aims to promote financial inclusion, enhance convenience and security, drive innovation, and contribute to economic growth.