by Susanne Posel
Earlier this month it was announced that MasterCard is supporting the Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to create and distribute a biometric identification card to all Nigerian citizens in an effort to ensure all citizens participate in MasterCard services.
The National Identity Smart Cards (NISC) will assist the Nigerian government ensure that “the individual’s identity is being first affirmed.”
According to the National Identity Card Policy (NICP) document this “pilot program” is a precursor to a Universal Identification “infrastructure” wherein there will be the creation of:
• National Identity Management System (NIMS)
• National Identity Database (NID)
• National Indemnification Number (NIN)
The NISC will verify and authenticate the individual’s identity to the government against the information in the database. This card is manufactured with a microprocessor chip “designed to handle multiple applications including identity verification, authentication and payment functionalities.”
From the age of 16, citizens must have a NISC. The card “is property of the government” and cannot be damaged or destroyed without penalties being attributed to the citizen. This also ensures that the Nigerian government retains the right to take the NISC from the citizen – effectively cutting them off from nationality and the ability to pay for products and services.
The technocratically controlled Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has implemented charges for “handling cash” and cash transactions in an initiative to shift the social consciousness toward a cashless society.
Lebanon is being coerced into the “benefits” of a cashless society with MasterCard working with ABC malls to entice shoppers with the Bank Audi MasterCard Credit Card (BACC) that allows users to “tap and go” when making purchases.
In 2011, MasterCard positioned itself against cash payments in a “war on cash” which focused on markets such as India to bring the “cashless society” to reality.
Ajay Banga, chief executive officer of MasterCard Worldwide spoke at the Fletcher School about the advantages of a cashless world and outlining the “challenges of moving away from cash.”
Banga said that there probably will not be a completely pure cashless society; however under the guise of improving the current payment system, cash is not sustainable.
MasterCard is dedicating itself to a strategy that will set a standard and become influential to the future of payments. By coercing urbanized centers to the trendiness of going cashless, their influence on the behavior of consumers and their perception of being cashless can ensure that this move is made.
The focus on developing nations such as India and Nigeria are because their governments are willing to take “foreign aid” in exchange for enslaving their citizens.
Banga explained: “I absolutely think that electronic payments can be helpful. The problem is that the money has to reside somewhere… If immigrant communities find it difficult to put their money with a bank, I don’t know if they’ll do it with a cell phone provider either. The challenge is finding a way to anchor mobile payments for the future.”
The program entitled, “Killing Cash: Pros and Cons of Mobile Money for the World’s Poor” explains how “mobile money provides a viable alternative to tangible cash” for the “poor and unbanked populations.”
MasterCard may have their sights on Sweden as another likely place to implement a cashless society with the sales pitch that this would reduce robberies and crime in the country.
In the city of Uppsala , cash is not handled at branches of the Swedbank. Merchants are encouraged not to deal with cash. Since 2012 this mandate has been in effect with the powerful ideal that crime will stop if cash is no longer traded as tender for good and services.
Uppsala retailers are being enticed by MasterCard’s KDY program that facilitates “deals” for retailers to post for consumers to redeem. This keeps the cashless circle flowing. Marketing this scheme as “digital discounts for high-tech savvy customers” appeals to the vain nature of the consumer while giving them a trendy method of payment and redemption – which is integral to its success.
In 2012, MasterCard unveiled their “vision” for “A World Beyond Cash” as the rise of pre-paid consumer will pilot this Brave New World through defining how payments are made.
This scheme involves giving consumers incentives to go cashless. With the marketing-mind control firmly in place in the US, this is an easy task. By simply increasing the amount of times consumers use plastic instead of cash, the brand will become commonplace of its own evolution.
In fact, 3 out of 4 households are cashless. Retailers are refusing the accept cash as payment. Payments on smartphones and tablets increase the ideology that cashless is easier and more convenient.
The 2012 document entitled, “Cashless System Commission Report” was produced to analyze the effectiveness of cashless payments such s electronic benefit transfer (EBT).
After studies and documents were presented to the Commission, it was encouraged to utilize cashless benefits and “increase education” so that the public could view this ideal as better than other forms of benefit allocation.
For those US citizens using government subsidies, acclimating them to accepting digital over analog is easy when there is not choice and the citizen cannot live without the assistance.