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CBN gives update on eNaira; to be usable on phone without internet, BVN, NIN compulsory

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intends to ease access to the eNaira by allowing individuals without internet-enabled phones to obtain Nigeria’s digital currency when it finally debuts.

Recall the eNaira was scheduled launch on October 1, 2021, but was suspended by the central bank, till further notice.

In a new statement released on Monday, CBN said it plans to ensure the uneducated and population not in the smartphone bracket are not excluded from eNaira gains.

The document titled “Design paper for the eNaira.” says it is working on the usability of the Central Bank Digital Currency to mitigate the risk it will have on the less privileged.

In the statement, CBN said, “The eNaira thus risks further alienating sections of the population who are uneducated, lack exposure and access to internet services or digital devices.

“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,” the CBN added.

It was gathered that the CBN will also mandate the use of NIN and other existing identity infrastructure in Nigeria such as the BVN and TIN, hence, any individual without them will not have access to the eNaira.

Read also: Court tells CBN to ‘adequately’ compensate eNaira trademark owner

The Apex body said the eNaira will aid the financial inclusion channels such as mobile banking apps, point-of-sale terminals, USSD, fast response code, and Internet banking.

“The account-based CBDC model at its core mirrors the progress made on the National Financial Inclusion Strategy which enables access to financial services by leveraging last-mile networks to identify users and to provide banking services through channels such as PoS and USSD.” CBN said.

It added that, “With the account-based model, the CBN seeks to enable access by leveraging the existing identity infrastructure in Nigeria such as the BVN, NIN, TIN, etc., to uniquely identify individuals and corporate entities.

“Specifically, identity frameworks such as the NIN will enable access for the financially excluded as they can be uniquely identified, thereby enabling the provision of financial services. These identity systems will help ensure a robust KYC framework positioned to enable access for all Nigerians.”

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