The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and key players in the payments ecosystem eNaira , particularly payment service providers (PSPs) and a large community of fintech companies have emerged from a one-day meeting in Lagos with a resolve to collaborate to increase the adoption of the recently launched Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the eNaira.
Rakiya Mohammed, Director, Information Technology Department of the CBN, clarified at the event held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Lagos, yesterday, that the CBN is not competing with Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) or any other player in the Nigerian payment system.
Mrs. Mohammed explained that the engagement continued the bank’s strategy of bringing all stakeholders on board, which she described as a journey. She noted that the CBN was open to suggestions and innovations aimed at enhancing the value of the naira and improving the user experience.
She, therefore, called on payment service providers (including the large community of fintech groups) to find more innovative ways to help citizens adapt and use eNaira where possible and develop solutions for offline eNaira features such as cards, wearables, USSD, and others.
She charged licensed PSPs to build more goods and services throughout the whole spectrum of the financial system utilizing eNaira, while also admonishing them to find other use cases for the eNaira.
Mohammed further revealed that the entire deployment of the eNaira, which began with bank onboarding, will be completed in four stages, concluding in offline eNaira payment solutions, cross-border payment, and eNaira interoperability with other Central Banks.
Representatives from many stakeholder groups praised the eNaira’s presentation and voiced enthusiasm for its adoption and usage. They also presented value-added ideas for the market and integration process in order to promote financial inclusion by bridging the gap between banked and unbanked people.
According to a statement released on Monday, the CBN team and several stakeholder groups have committed to meet on a regular basis to discuss progress achieved in enabling more Nigerians to utilize eNaira.
The CBN team included Samuel Okojere, director, banking services department; Musa Jimoh, director, payment system management; Dr Blaise Ijebor, director, risk management; Mr Chibuzor Efobi, director, financial policy and regulations department; and Mary Fasheitan, special adviser to the CBN Governor on payment systems.
Payment Service Banks, Switching and Processing firms; Mobile Money Operators; payment solution service providers; payment terminal service providers; and super agents were among the several entities present during the engagement.
The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), the shared agent network expansion facilities (SANEF), and the committee of eBanking sector executives were also in attendance.