Speech Delivered By the Chairman of Smart Card
Society of Nigeria at the Smartcard Expo 2002, 2nd July, 2002. (Posted
3rd July, 2002)
It is my honour to welcome you to the 2nd Annual
International Conference and Exhibition on smart cards tagged SMARTCARD
The concept of smartcard other related technologies are fast gaining
grounds in Nigeria. As we enter the new millennium, banking will become
less manual and more electronic. Cash handling in physical form will
become less fashionable as the concept of electronic banking as become
acceptable in more advanced economies of Europe and America, where
credit/debit cards are more popular.
Nigeria cannot be left out in the global trends that have defined the way
things are done in more advanced economies. I therefore commend the
organizers of this annual events i.e. Intermarc Consulting Limited, for
their role as catalyst and relying point for cards initiative in Nigeria.
The way forward is therefore to redirect the energy of all players in all
areas of transaction processing, by shifting small cash and non-cash
transactions to the electronic stored value system, thereby freeing
enormous human, physical and material resources with the effect of causing
a huge reduction in overheads thus increasing profitability.
As at today, there are several electronic cash products in Nigeria i.e.
Valucard, Smartpay, Securecard, Diamond paycard, ESCA Card etc. The banks
involved in these projects all have one fundamental objective; viz; to
considerably reduce the volume of cash outside the banking industry, while
providing retail electronic banking services to the customers. The same is
true for emerging ATM initiatives.
The various electronic purse projects have endangered considerable
creativity and competition in the industry. The relative success of these
schemes confirms that such hi-tech products can truly work as the Nigerian
market and environment is ready for it.
The Market for electronic banking products is very big, as the ‘new age’
consumers will continue to demand fast, efficient and convenient banking
options. Therefore forward looking Nigerian banks, following the trend in
Europe and America have started designing concepts and programs to meet
the customer’s expectation in the next century.
In all of these however, we have so far developed the capacities for
financial applications on Smartcards thereby leaving out the vast
opportunities that exist in the multi-application environment of cards.
The potentials for Smartcards in transportation, health management,
identification, telecommunication, toll management, franchise and
utilities, as well as in Government are largely unexplored in Nigeria.
This creates tremendous opportunities for investors and business whop are
interested in taking advantage of the vast markets that exist in Nigeria.
Smart Cards are increasingly being adopted as part of the technical
solution to address a variety of commercial opportunities. Leading
companies in almost every business sector are either introducing
Smartcards or are at least investigating their potential. The present
fragmentation that exists within the global Smartcard arena causes
confusion over standards, card type, supplies, development, implementation
and marketing. Potential scheme operators need to manoeuvre their way
through a myriad of choices, often not understanding the full implications
of the decisions they make.
Following the outcome of the Smartcard Expo 2001 in July last year,
Intermarc Consulting Limited facilitated and established the Smart Card
Society of Nigeria, which was lunched in April 2002. the society was set
up as an association of all stakeholders in the Smartcard business as well
as digital and other electronic technologies.
Membership of the association is open to all companies, organizations, and
individuals who are interested in or concerned with Smart card and related
technology, whether as banks, suppliers and vendors, merchant
organization, advisers, consultants, existing or potential scheme
operators or end users.
The mission of the society is to encourage and stimulate the use of
smartcard and other related digit or electronic technologies, thereby
allowing our members to take advantage of the convenience and security
offered by the rational application of new technologies.
The society aims to rapidly establish itself as the premier Nigerian forum
for education, debate and promotion of all aspects of smartcard and
related technologies, standards, applications and scheme.
There will no doubt be challenges to the implementation of any technology
that is bound to bring about a big shift and change in the culture of the
people. This is even gloomier when you consider the challenges posed by
the levels of infrastructural development like communication and power.
However, the solution to these problems lie with the stakeholders, who
should pull energies and resources together to ensure that the technology
succeeds even in this environment. This conference offers the opportunity
for groups and individuals to come together, to develop ideas and fashion
out a direction for the industry.
Distinguished delegates, Ladies and gentlemen it is my belief that we will
have fruitful deliberations at this 3-day conference and the result will
clearly take us to the next level in card business in Nigeria. As the
establishment of the Smart Card society of Nigeria is a direct outcome of
the Smartcard Expo 2001 held last year, it is my fervent expectation that
this edition will birth another positive development in the history of
Smartcards in Africa.
I also understand that we expect to see new developments and technologies
on display at the exhibition ground. I hope that we will take advantage of
these opportunities to update our system and ourselves. On behalf of the
Smart Card Society of Nigeria, I wish you all fruitful deliberations and a
By the chairman of Smart Card Society of Nigeria, Dr. Evans Woherem at the
Smartcard Expo 2002, 2nd July, 2002.
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