Credit and Debit Card Payment Regulations and Laws

by Oserogho & Associates

Legal Alert – Credit and Debit Card Payment Regulations and Laws


To curb money laundering, corruption and tax evasion, the Nigerian apex regulatory Bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (“CBN”) has continued to publish its regulatory circulars which will enshrine a more robust digital payment system, in contrast to the current predominantly cash-carrying, informal payment system.

Many Nigerian licensed Banks have, in furtherance of the Central Bank of Nigeria cashless directive, commenced the aggressive marketing of various credit and debit card products from renowned international payment card companies and brands.

Unfortunately, many of the money payment cards in Nigeria are not accepted by international merchants, especially in the United States of America and in some parts of Western Europe. This therefore raises the legal question of what regulatory regime is presently in place on this subject matter, and what reliefs are available to the Nigerian customers who possesses some of these payment cards but cannot enjoy the services promised by their Banks and the money payment cards franchisors?


There is no direct and explicit law in Nigeria that deals with the existing credit or debit card payment systems in Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria Act (as amended), and the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act (as amended), however gives the CBN wide powers to oversee and regulate all manner of payment systems in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation Act also requires the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (“NDIC”) to complement the oversight financial regulatory functions of the CBN.

Central Bank of Nigeria Act (as amended)

In addition to issuing the legal tender or currency, and ensuring monetary and price stability in Nigeria, the CBN also has the principal responsibility of promoting a sound financial system in Nigeria by co-ordinating with the NDIC, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the Corporate Affairs Commission (“CAC”), the National Insurance Commission (“NAICOM”) and other regulatory bodies, the supervision of all financial institutions and their conglomerates.

Another one of the CBN statutory function is the establishment of a Financial Services Regulatory Coordinating Committee. Members of this Committee include the Governor of the CBN, the Managing Director of NDIC, the Director General of SEC, the Commissioner of Insurance, the Registrar General of CAC, and a representative of the Federal Ministry of Finance.

Also, Section 47 (2) of the CBN Act provides that the CBN shall “….continue to promote and facilitate the development of efficient and effective systems for the settlement of transactions (including the development of electronic payment systems).”

Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation Act

In addition to the principal function of insuring all deposit liabilities of all licensed Banks, and of other deposit-taking financial institutions in Nigeria, the NDIC is also statutorily mandated to assist other monetary authorities, especially the CBN, in the formulation and implementation of banking policies in Nigeria, that will ensure sound banking practices and fair competition among insured financial institutions.

All insured financial institutions are also mandatorily required to have Fidelity Insurance Coverage up to such levels as may be prescribed from time to time by the NDIC.

Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (as amended)

In addition to the above highlighted statutory functions of the CBN, the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (as amended) further confers on the CBN the authority to license and regulate Banks and other Financial Institutions, including their employees and Directors.

The CBN also has the statutory authority to revoke, vary, or impose new or additional licence conditions on any banking or other financial institution’s operating licence.

Card Holders Contractual Rights

Traditionally, it is the terms and conditions of the Agreement between the card holder and the card issuer(s) - which in Nigeria are presently the licensed Banks - that will govern any dispute that may arise from the use of a debit or a credit card.

Many of these Agreements are written in very small prints that many customers never have the time and opportunity to read the exclusion of liability clauses, among other disadvantageous clauses that are contained in such card agreements.

It is however a time honoured principle of law that a Bank will be liable in breach of contract, and possibly too, damages for libel, anytime a customer with sufficient funds with a Bank is unable to obtain the benefits of such funds, from his or her Bank because the Bank refused to honour the instructions of the customer to pay.

Other Jurisdictions Legislations on Card Payment

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 is a Federal statute passed in the United States of America to provide for a comprehen

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Oserogho & Associates | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Oserogho & Associates

Oserogho & Associates on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.