Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set to introduce shortcodes, a USSD code for easier transactions with the digital currency, eNaira.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this during the eNaira Hackathon grand finale in Abuja.
He revealed that Nigerians can now subscribe to digital currency using shortcodes as it will soon “become part of our lives”.
Emefiele noted that approximately 8 million users are targeted. The first phase of the launch was focused on banked users, while the second phase centred around financial inclusion.
“As captured in the design paper released, eNaira is a journey, not a one-time event. This hackathon event is a continuation of that journey and the first among many to come given that the future of central banking is inextricably bound to innovation.
“We don’t have a choice but to live with the fact that we are now in a digital economy. In a digital space where the use of cash will dissipate to almost zero and the use of digital currency will increase and will now become part of our lives.
“The second phase of the project has begun and is intended to drive financial inclusion by onboarding the unbanked and the underserved users leveraging offline channels. Hence, greater success is envisioned for the project with phase two expected to deliver more gains with the target of eight million users based on estimation using the diffusion of innovation model.
“I’m pleased and indeed delighted to inform you all today that by next week, Nigerians both banked and unbanked will be able to open an eNaira wallet and conduct transactions by simply dialling *997# from their mobile phones.”
“Shortly after this, both merchants and consumers with bank accounts can use the NIBSS instant payment NIP to transfer and receive eNaira to any bank account of their choice. This will further deepen the integration of the eNaira with the existing national payment infrastructure.
“Already, the digital currency has reached 840,000 downloads, 270,000 active wallets comprising over 252,000 consumer wallets and 17,000 merchant wallets.
“In addition, the volume and value of transactions on the platform has been remarkable, reaching above 200,000 and N4bn respectively”, he added.
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