The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) And Payment System Operators Are Working To Accelerate The Use Of e-Naira

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), payment service providers (PSPs), and other financial technology (fintech) stakeholders gathered in Lagos Wednesday to discuss ways to promote e-Naira use.

At the conclusion of the discussion, the parties agreed to collaborate in order to accelerate the adoption of the central bank’s digital money (CBDC).

Many stakeholders believe that the adoption rate is slow. According to data from the apex bank, 17,000 transactions totaling over N62 million had been processed, with the average transaction costing approximately N3, 800.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) noted last week that the CBDC promises to increase remittances to Nigeria, which have been declining. However, there are concerns about the slow pace of adoption, which many observers believe will only accelerate with more forceful awareness.

Rakiya Mohammed, Director, Information Technology Department (ITD) at the CBN, stated at yesterday’s meeting that the CBN was not competing with deposit money banks (DMBs) or other players in the Nigerian payment system ecosystem.

Mohammed added that the interaction was part of the bank’s plan to bring all stakeholders on board in the quest to reimagine the payments system and that the CBN was open to recommendations to improve the eNaira implementation.

She also challenged payment service providers to come up with more creative methods to assist members of the public with the onboarding process and using eNaira, as well as develop solutions for offline eNaira features such as cards, wearables, and USSD.

Mohammed stated that the full implementation of the eNaira, which began with bank onboarding, will be completed in four phases, concluding in offline eNaira payments solutions, cross-border payment, and eNaira interoperability with other CBDCs.

Going forward, the CBN team and the various stakeholder groups agreed to meet on a regular basis to discuss the progress made in allowing more Nigerians to utilize eNaira.

PSBs, switching, and processing firms, mobile money operators, payment solution service providers, payment terminal service providers, and super agents were among the several entities represented at the engagement.

Representatives from the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Shared Agent Network Expansion Facilities (SANEF), and the Committee of eBanking Industry Heads were also in attendance.