Indeed, MasterCard has recently joined with the Nigerian government to issue 13 million dual-identity and bank cards (identity cards coupled with MasterCard's payment technology) for residents of the West African nation. Eventually, this program will reach all the country's residents over the age of 16. This follows a similar program undertaken by MasterCard within South Africa, where the company has issued 10 million "smart" (biometric) cards to welfare grant recipients.It would appear the Nigerian government and MasterCard go well together, and MasterCard appears to be single-handedly reshaping the economy. The firm has been behind a revolutionary "comprehensive Internet payments solution" for small and medium enterprises within the country,and recently the company partnered with I&M Bank to create the first multi-currency prepaid card, which originates from Kenya but is designed for travel around sub-Saharan Africa. This is ideal for doing cross-boarder business within Nigeria. Going mobile and stopping fraud Surprisingly, fraud in developing Nigeria is lower than global averages, according to Visa,which is positive considering most customers use debit cards. The value of purchases and ATM usage has tripled between 2009 and 2011, driven by the country's drive for people to make cash-less transactions. Indeed, the authorities have been encouraging electronic payments to relieve the strain on the country's overloaded banking system.This is where Visa is looking for growth as the company is hit by proposals to cap debit card fees within Europe.The fast-growing African economy offers many opportunities. Visa is also active in the fast-growing mobile-payments sector of the Nigerian market. It is estimated that 73% of Nigerians have a cell phone,and Visa's subsidiary, Fundamo, based out of Cape Town, South Africa now offers a new mobile-payment service. The service extends to Nigeria, Uganda, and Zimbabwe allowing Nigerians to send both cross-border and domestic transactions directly from their cell phones. Growing wealth As I mentioned, Deutsche Bank has been active within Nigeria since the mid 70s, and the bank is now using its presence within the country as a springboard to expand throughout Africa.