CBN assures eNaira will work with other countries’ digital currencies

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says eNaira, its digital currency, will be interoperable with other central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

This means that someone that owns a particular CBDC can seamlessly make a cross-border payment where the recipient receives a different CBDC.

Besides Nigeria, five other countries have fully launched a CBDC. They are the Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and Grenada.

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Rakiya Mohammed, CBN director of information technology, said this on Monday at the licensed payment service providers’ (PSPs) engagement session in Lagos.

At the one-day engagement session, the stakeholders in the payments system ecosystem resolved to work together to ensure more adoption of the recently launched eNaira.

“The full implementation of the eNaira would be done in four phases, culminating in offline eNaira payments solutions, cross-border payment, and interoperability of the eNaira with those of other central banks,” Mohammed said.

Mohammed clarified that the apex bank was neither competing with the deposit money banks (DMBs) nor other actors in the Nigerian payment system environment.

She said the engagement was in continuation of the bank’s strategy to bring all stakeholders on board.

She also said the apex bank is open to suggestions and innovation aimed at adding value to the eNaira and improving the user experience.

The CBN director urged the PSPs, including the large community of fintech groups to find more innovative ways to support members of the public, where possible, in the onboarding process and use of eNaira as well as develop solutions for offline eNaira functions including cards, wearables, USSD, among others.

Mohammed charged licensed PSPs to build additional products and services across the full spectrum of the financial system utilising eNaira while asking them to establish other use cases for the eNaira.

At the meeting, representatives of the different stakeholder groups welcomed the introduction of the eNaira and expressed support for its adoption and use.

They also made value-added proposals for the market and integration process to drive financial inclusion by bridging the banked and the unbanked gap.

The apex bank and the different stakeholders also agreed to meet periodically to review the progress made to enable more Nigerians to access eNaira.

 

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