Banks that disabled InterSwitch Cards for Internet Use

One of the core functions of an InterSwitch ATM/Debit card is using it to pay for goods and services via the Internet. However, fraud has always been a big problem since all that is needed to use this card on the Internet is the 19-digit card number and PIN code. I am not sure InterSwitch WebPay cross-checks the card holder’s name and billing address as is standard procedure with international Visa/Mastercard payment gateways. Fraud is so prevalent that I am not surprised by the information I received today from a Nigerian merchant that accepts InterSwitch cards online:

Dear esteemed customer,
Are you keeping your money with the right bank?
If you have ever received a ‘Restricted Card’ error message while trying to pay for goods or services online,
we feel that you’d like to be informed that the following banks have disabled the use of their cards for online purchases.
This action limits the usefulness of the card and we’d like to suggest to our esteemed customers to
open their accounts with other banks not on the list.

  • UBA
  • First Bank
  • Oceanic Bank
  • Access Bank
  • Intercontinental Bank
  • Diamond Bank

What is the use of a card that cannot be used via the Internet? This is ridiculous. This reminds me of an earlier blog post: E-commerce in Nigeria: We’re back to the stone age!

What do you think?

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Oluniyi D. Ajao is an Internet Entrepreneur and Tech Enthusiast based in South Africa. Follow him on twitter @niyyie for more tech updates.


  1. This is an example of one step forward and two steps backward. Let’s just hope that other banks don’t do the same. What the banks need to do is not to disable their cards being used online but to implement security features. This clearly reveals that Nigeria still has a long way to go as regards ecommerce. It is well

  2. These banks cannot be blamed for their action; they are simply doing what they feel is best to protect the funds of their customers. Interswitch really need to up their game if they want e-commerce to thrive in Nigeria.

  3. I am not surprised at all, some guys at the top management level are not really creative. They rely on input from the younger guys. Instead of them to look for a way to make this payment mode more secured ,they tread the way of cowardice. Extra validation and authentication of card holder will do this job.
    I advise these listed banks to immediately sack who ever gave them this idea. He is not competent. PERIOD

    • Its this simple…Nigeria is no ready for eCommerce;peoplewise,infrastructure wise,securitywise e.t.c,dont these scammers get to use other people’s cards in foreign countries..They aint cowards,that is the best they can matter how to try to do extra validation,scammers would always be scammers.A lot of things have to be put inplace before eCommerce can gain grounds

  4. I am ot quite surprised about the cyber politics played in Nigeria system, if such services are disabled what it is the importance of the reconcilliation of bank and MEGA banks in Nigeria. I strongly believe that the entire MEGA banks in Nigeria are nott as strong as a single MEGA bank in Brazil. I have applied for a debit and credit card with my bank Oceanic Bank International, to-date i have received any from them, the excuse is that the person in charge is having issue with the head office, but from my own finding this isn’t true. So if there is no card then no better service. I pray Nigeria is deleted from the RED Zone countries in the World Alert List.

  5. Can someone please tell me where the “sense” is in having an e-payment gateway that does not verify the card holders details before processing? This is terrible for Nigeria.

    To think i was one of the guys praising the new development.

    So sad!!

  6. Dear All,
    The problem with all the systems is that they are not well thought to suit Nigerian market.
    It may be easy to blame the fraudulent ones in Nigeria, but it is a fact the problem is prevalent.
    No merchant will like to lose out because inadequately thought ideas like interswitch, etranzact etc. The order day I read on Interswitch’s website that I can use my cashcard to transfer to a friend bank account and vice-versa etc. It turned out to be a stupid lie.
    The problem with Nigeria is that of greed. Dont forget that Interswitch is not a private orgaisation. It is owned and funded by most of the banks on the switch. A company that switches transaction(like interswitch) does not issue a virtual account(like cashcard) in direct competition with it’s owners. This is the flaw in the whole Interswitch saga.
    I have tried a number of so-called online transaction, in Nigeria and I can tell you all the one I found most reliable is GLOBALDOSH.COM. Although, low-profile you can use on any website throughout the world via one of their proxyshopper, GDPROXY.COM.
    I have used them continuosly for over 3 years and all my stuff from Amazon, E-bay etc were delivered because they guarantee delivery or your money-back.
    Nigerians always try to run before they can walk.Because a technology exists doesn’t mean a simple way that work should not be embraced instead of a new technology that disappoints all the time.
    Comments are welcome!!!

    • You’re on point here mr jide,like i commented above on chronic’s comment..Nigeria isnt ripe4d technology yet..I embrace what those banks did to protect their customers..nice 1 bro

  7. I have had an experience with ATM when an ATM machine seized my card that it was reported stolen when i never made such a report. Since then i have been scared of living money in that particular account cos anything can happen.

    Now i have a mastercard GTbank that is not linked to any particular account but has a seperate account for it. This is not only secured, but also allows me manage my master card spendings. I think if this is implimented for interswitch ATM, it would be a lot safer. you only transfer the amount you feel you might need to spend into your ATM account and the card is not linked to your main account. A lot of people have lost hard earned savings to fraudsters because of the vunerability of the ATM cards.

  8. Banks should only educate their customers on the important of atm card usage and only issue card (atm) to their customers on free will request rather than indirectly forcing them by charging over.d.counter cash withdrawals. This will limit atm fraud as d literate 1s in d society will be using atm card rather than a farmer that uses thumb print as signature. Most atm frauds occurs as a result of password compromise. I blame banks for atm fraud, they are after their income from monthly atm service charge than their customer’s fund.

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