The Central Bank of Nigeria has released a set of guidelines for card issuance and usage in Nigeria for Deposit Money Banks.
The directives were contained in a 14-page document released by the Banking and Payment System Department of the CBN on Tuesday.
The guideline stipulates that unsolicited cards should not be issued and issuers shall not levy any charge that was not explicitly indicated to the customer or cardholder.
“Where an unsolicited card is issued and activated without the written consent of the recipient and the latter is billed for the same, or fraudulent activity occurs, the card issuer shall not only reverse the charges forthwith, but also pay a penalty, without objection to the recipient, amounting to twice the value of the charges reversed.
“The verifiable consent of a customer shall be required before issuing a payment card or other products offered along with the card. Information to the customer has to be explicit and not implied. The consent may be received physically or electronically,” the bank said.
The CBN also directed Banks to henceforth destroy Automated Teller Machine cards trapped in their ATM terminals.
“Any trapped card in the ATM shall be rendered unusable (by perforation) by the acquirer and returned to the issuer on the next working day,” it directed.
It further declared that “all debit entries arising from failed transactions attributable to system-related issues must be auto-reversed. Where auto reversal is not feasible, manual reversal must be carried out within 24 hours.
“The security of the payment card shall be the responsibility of the issuer and the losses incurred on account of breach of security or failure of the security mechanism shall be borne by the issuer, except the issuer establishes security breach on the part of the card holder.”
Banks are to ensure ATM cards are issued from card schemes that have demonstrable fraud management systems.
The apex bank said the new guidelines were introduced to enable financial institutions and card processors to upgrade their card operations to ensure optimum security and customer friendliness, among others.
“Card issuers are expected to continuously educate cardholders on the following, among other things: security tips for safeguarding cardholder information; costs and charges associated with owning and using a payment card; contact numbers to the card issuer’s 24/7 contact centre in order to report cardholder issues or problems; dispute resolution process across the bank’s products and channels,” the CBN said.