Payment system providers and fintechs of CBN partners to deepen eNaira adoption

• Said that apex bank is not in competition with banks

• Unveils a digital financial inclusion program for women and young people

James Emejo in Abuja and Olusegun Samuel in Yenagoa

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said yesterday that it is working with key stakeholders in the payments system ecosystem to boost adoption of its digital currency known as eNaira.

Stakeholders, especially payment service providers (PSPs) and a community of fintech groups, after a one-day engagement with the Lagos umbrella bank, decided to join together to ensure greater adoption of the CBDC in the country.

Speaking at the meeting, CBN Director, Information Technology Department (ITD), Ms. Rakiya Mohammed, explained that the umbrella bank does not compete with either the depository banks (DMB) or with other actors in the Nigerian payment system environment.

Essentially, the engagement was a continuation of the bank’s strategy to involve all stakeholders in what Mohammed described as a journey.

She said the CBN remains open to suggestions and innovation aimed at adding value to eNaira and improving the user experience.

The director of CBN urged payment service providers (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 the use of eNaira, as well as to develop solutions for offline eNaira functions, including maps, wearables, USSD, among others.

While urging licensed PSPs to create additional use cases for eNaira, she instructed licensed PSPs to create additional products and services across the financial system using eNaira.

Mohammed further revealed that the full implementation of eNaira, which began with the integration of banks, will be in four phases, culminating in eNaira offline payment solutions, cross-border payment and interoperability. eNaira with those of other central banks.

However, in turn, representatives of different stakeholder groups welcomed the introduction of eNaira and expressed support for its adoption and use.

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

In addition, in the future, the CBN team and the different stakeholder groups have agreed to meet periodically to review the progress made in enabling more Nigerians to access eNaira.

Within the CBN team were the Director of the Banking Services Department, Samuel Okojere; Director, Payment Systems Management Department, Musa Jimoh; Director, Risk Management, Dr Blaise Ijebor; the Director of the Department of Financial Policy and Regulation, Mr. Chibuzor Efobi; and CBN Governor’s Special Advisor on Payments Systems, Mary Fasheitan.

The various groups in attendance were payment service banks, switching and processing companies; Mobile money operators; Payment solution service provider; Payment terminal service providers; and super agents.

Also present were representatives of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN); the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS); Shared agent network extension installations (SANEF); and the Board of Directors of the Banking Industry.

CBN Governor Mr. Godwin Emefiele said the eNaira would support a resilient payments ecosystem, encourage rapid financial inclusion, reduce the cost of handling cash, enable direct and transparent social intervention for citizens and increase revenue and tax collection. In addition, he said the eNaira would facilitate diaspora remittances, reduce the cost of financial transactions and improve the efficiency of payments.

Emefiele added, “Therefore, eNaira is the CBDC of Nigeria and it is the digital equivalent of the physical naira. As the slogan simply sums it up, eNaira is the same naira with many more possibilities.

Meanwhile, as part of the federal government’s efforts to ensure that every eligible Nigerian has a bank account and is financially included, the central bank yesterday launched the digital inclusion campaign for women and youth in Bayelsa State.

In presenting the program in Kaima, in the local government area of ​​Kolokuma / Opokuma state, the state governor, Senator Douye Diri, informed residents of rural areas of the state that the only way for them to benefit from the government’s various microcredit and empowerment programs and to be financially included was to have valid bank accounts.

The governor, who encouraged people in rural areas of the state to take advantage of the CBN’s financial inclusion campaign to open their bank accounts, noted that the current state administration has various financial programs and empowerment, and others in partnership with the federal government, which can only be accessed through a bank account.

Diri, who was represented by a Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Secretary of State Government, Mr. Anthony Orwells, said: “There are a number of empowerment programs, some of which are in partnership with the Government of the United States. State with the CBN and other federal institutions while some of them are entirely under the state government.

“However, you will need a bank account to be included financially through a bank account, hence the need to encourage financial inclusion to ensure that everyone, including people in rural areas, benefits and be drawn into the order of things. “

In his speech, CBN’s Development Finance Department Director Yusuf Yila said the country’s umbrella bank discovered that most people in rural areas cannot be captured for various empowerment initiatives due to bank accounts, which required a financial inclusion campaign.

Represented by the Head of Development Finance, CBN, Yenagoa Branch, Ms. Augustina Osuya, he explained that the financial inclusion campaign should, among other things, improve financial literacy and raise awareness of the benefits of using digital financial services. and contribute to increased access to payments, savings and credit enhancement opportunities for rural women and youth across the country by leveraging digital platforms.

He pointed out that the program aims to empower and integrate more women and youth across Nigeria into the financial ecosystem, in line with the CBN Digital Financial Inclusion Project.

While calling on rural women and youth to seize the opportunity to open their bank accounts, he urged financial institutions to join in and take the exercise seriously to rally all the financially excluded people.

In her remarks, Kaiama’s woman leader, Ms. Tonbra Egbegi, praised the CBN for bringing the initiative to their doorstep and said the campaign would empower rural women and youth to open their bank accounts. convenient way without having to travel to the state. Capital city.

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