CBN affirms that Nigerians can use the eNaira without internet-enabled phones

Nigerians without access to internet-enabled phones would also be able to utilize the eNaira currency. This was revealed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in a document titled “Design paper for the eNaira”. 

The CBN, through this document, stated that the eNaira solution will take into consideration all Nigerians, irrespective of the device type they use. Thus, one wouldn’t need to be connected to a data network to access the digital currency.

This assurance comes after the proposed use of digital currency in the country has sparked various levels of concern among many Nigerians.

However, the central bank also further stated that maximizing the value and use of the eNaira currency would still depend on devices with internet capabilities. 

Enaira works on non-internet enabled devices. -CBN Assures
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele…

“To mitigate this risk, the bank factored in the need for inclusiveness as part of the core design principle of the eNaira. This principle has enabled the bank to focus on simplicity and ease of use, ensuring that Nigerians without Internet-enabled phones can access the service,

CBN

The central bank also assures that the eNaira will complement existing payment methods such as mobile banking apps, point-of-sale (PoS) terminals, USSD, fast code response, and internet banking. 

The Apex bank initially announced its intention to introduce a digital alternative to the widely accepted Naira notes in May. But that has remained a policy Nigerians continue to anticipate.

Recall that the central bank had proposed October 1 for the launch of the currency to commemorate the country’s independence, but has since then postponed the launch indefinitely. 

The Apex bank believes that USSD inclusion for the digital currency will ensure inclusive access to all while also ensuring the integrity of the Nigerian financial system. 

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Model

The CBN has chosen to use the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Model for the eNaira. It said it chose this system because it offered more in terms of financial inclusion and access to banking services.

Credit: Vanguard

“At its core, the account-based CBDC model matches progress made on the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, which facilitates access to financial services by leveraging last-mile networks to identify users and provide banking services through channels like PoS and USSD,” the CBN said while explaining this choice.

The apex bank also said the CBDC model guaranteed easy integration with the country’s identity infrastructures like Bank Verification Number, BVN, National Identity Number, NIN, and Tax Identification Number, TIN, etc.

“The CBN’s account-based strategy aims to facilitate access by leveraging Nigeria’s existing identity infrastructure, such as the BVN, NIN, TIN, and other identifiers, to uniquely identify individuals and corporate entities.”

“Specifically, identity frameworks like the NIN will allow the financially excluded to get access to financial services because they can be individually identified.” These identity systems will contribute to a strong KYC framework that would allow all Nigerians access. “


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