eNaira — The Nigerian Digital Currency
Nigeria launches a Digital Currency
Given the significant explosion in the use of digital payments and the rise in the digital economy, the CBN’s decision follows an unmistakable global trend in which over 85% of central banks are now considering adopting digital currencies in their countries. The CBN coined the name “eNaira” and entrusted the creation of eNaira to Bitt Inc., a technology firm that develops payment systems for merchants, financial institutions and central banks.
eNaira is the Nigerian digital currency that is issued and governed by the Central Bank of Nigeria. It is the digital form of the Naira and it will serve as both a medium of exchange and a store of value, offering better payment prospects in retail transactions when compared to cash payment.
It was launched and brought into operation on October 25, 2021. In CBN’s view, the digital currency would make financial transactions easier and more transparent for each stratum of society and would complement rather than replace the physical naira. It has equal value with the naira and will serve similar purposes.
Features of eNaira
- Single payment system: Customers can easily send money from their bank account to their eNaira wallet.
- Non-contact payment: In-store payment can be made using their eNaira wallet by scanning the QR codes.
- Manage bank accounts: Clients can monitor their eNaira portfolio, verify balances and view transaction history.
- Peer-to-Peer Payment: Enables users to send money to each other via a bank account or connected card.
- Send/Receive Money: Clients can send and receive money faster, easier and at a minimal cost.
- Payment Verification: Clients can check their payments and view their transaction history anytime, anywhere.
- Transactions between financial institutions: Transactions between financial institutions are not only feasible but also faster and cheaper.
- Foreign exchange transactions: Clients can benefit from fast transactions across borders and a seamless exchange rate.
- It does not yield any interest.
Difference between eNaira and money in the bank
eNaira is the digital form of cash and is a direct liability on the Central Bank of Nigeria while the customer deposits are direct liabilities on the financial institutions.
The eNaira wallet is a digital storage that holds the eNaira. It is held and managed on a distributed ledger. The eNaira wallet is required to access, hold and use eNaira.
To access eNaira wallet
- Download the eNaira wallet app from playstore for android users and Appstore for iPhone users.
- Enter minimum identification details (i.e. NIN, BVN, or KYC/AML Information, depending on the customer tier you are).
- Enter other identification details (i.e. Name, Place and Date of Birth, Phone Number, Passport Photograph, Email and Password).
- Minimum ID is validated.
- You receive an email to activate your wallet.
- Log in to account
Difference between eNaira and Cryptocurrency
Challenges That Might Face eNaira
- Exploitation by fraudsters: Smartphones and mobile banking apps will be used to manage eNaira, and these apps must be safe to avoid fraudsters from exploiting them, as they have been known to reverse engineer apps and construct convincing trojans that appear to be legitimate while being malware.
- Privacy: A multi-layered defence against data leaking is needed to protect privacy. As a result, these apps will have to protect themselves from rogue keyloggers and sloppy screen sharing.
- Illiteracy: The registration and usage of the eNaira require a little bit of know-how as uneducated might not get it easily.
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