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A Nigerian who goes to a bank to apply for a card might be a bit confused as to which one to choose. I was. This is because most banks provide up to 3 options to choose from: Verve, MasterCard and Visa. What is the difference between them all? Which offers the best benefits? Which one should you get? Well, that is what this article is about; helping you make your choice based on the information we would share with you. You will get the opportunity to look at the advantages and disadvantages of all the options side-by-side. First of all, these cards are simply payment networks that connect merchant payment terminals with your bank’s credit card department. Simply put, they make money by processing transactions between your point of purchase and your bank.   VERVE CARD This card was made for the Nigerian market and it is only acceptable in Nigeria. The Verve card allows you to conveniently pay for goods and services on all ATMs, as well as POS, Web, Mobile, Kiosk, PC POS, Voice and bank branches connected to the Interswitch network. With a Verve card, you can pay Prepaid PHCN bills, buy Virtual Airtime Top-Up and transfer funds on the Quickteller platform easily. To make use of Verve/Interswitch card for QuickTeller transactions, you will pay a transaction fee of N100.   VISA CARD Originally founded as BankAmericard from Fresno, California in 1958, Visa came of age after Bank of America’s 18 year experiment with credit cards was rebranded to Visa in 1976. Now based in Foster City, California, a corporate restructure created Visa Inc. in 2007. Visa is popularly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange following an Initial Public Offering traded in 2008, listed under the stock shorthand ‘V’. This card is acceptable internationally. With a Visa Card, you can pay for things on US websites like Amazon or China based websites like Aliexpress. It is also acceptable on most ATMs and for making POS payments. It’s also now accepted on Interswitch powered websites like Quickteller, Jumia and Konga. When using this card for QuickTeller transactions, you will pay a transaction fee of N100.     MASTER CARD MasterCard was established in 1966 with its product names the Master Charge: The Interbank Card. By 1979 it was renamed MasterCard. Based in Purchase, New York with its global headquarters in O’Fallon, Missouri, MasterCard was previously structured as a cooperative owned by over 25 thousand financial institutions. This card is acceptable internationally just like the Visa card. It’s also accepted locally on interswitch websites like Quickteller, Konga and Jumia as well as international sites like Amazon and Aliexpress. When using this card for QuickTeller transactions, you will pay a transaction fee of N100.     SIMILARITIES 1. All the cards carry electronic chips which you should handle with care. Avoid putting your card in your back pocket all the time since sitting on it can reduce its lifespan. 2. They all come with about 16 digit card numbers, a validity date and a 3 digit CVV code at the back. 3. It may come printed with your name if it’s a personalized card that takes about week to produce or it may not bear any name if it’s the non-personalized one that is issued instantly. Some banks offer dual services like the  MasterCard Verve Debit Card which is extremely versatile and simple to use. My verdict: They are all really good cards with their own unique perks. I use my Verve card more often because of its convenience, my sentiments towards promoting all things Nigerian and the ease it offers me when making local transactions – which I engage in more than foreign transactions right now – but your choice will ultimately depend on your preference and lifestyle. Which card do you use? What benefit do you love the most? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.    

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This article was first published on 23rd June 2015


Ejura Salihu is an Anatomist, Writer and Editor. She is currently the Editor-in-chief for Connect Nigeria. You can contact her via email: or follow her on twitter @icyquin_msc

Comments (18)

18 thoughts on “Verve, Visa or MasterCard: Which One Should You Get?”

  • That was an eye opener,thanks a lot

  • can my verve card be changed to master card? because i can’t use it to do international transactions

  • it was really an eye opener information thanks

  • That is very wonderful. In fact most banks in Nigeria do issued verve card to their customers. I think I would rather use master card if given the choice as you can shop online today internationally, why restricting Nigerians with verve cards.

  • thanks 4dat.As 4 Valentine day,I can’t wait for dat de.

  • I can now get what i’m actually missed up before….i used verve, but if i’m to renew my card again, i will prefer master.

  • I can now get what i’m actually missed up before (the differents between verve, visa, and master card)….i used verve, but if i’m to renew my card again, i will prefer master.

    • Thank you so much for the information shared. But I don’t think there is any difference at all between the master card and the Visa card because according to the write-up the same importance is stated for both. Or if I may ask is there any difference? But we know verve is totally different because it is only used locally i.e here in Nigeria only. Thank you.

  • This is great. It explains my online transactions issues. Thanks Salihu.

  • Good article. Most banks don’t actually explain the difference to customers. I use mastercard and personally I’ve had no issues with it.

  • Thanks

  • Not all personalised cards take up to a week. I think it depends on your bank. FCMB issues instant cards with your name printed on it.

    • Yes, so does Zenith.
      However with some instantly issued cards, the printed names easily scratch off. Not like those embossed on the cards.

  • We all know about how easy this is for me.

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