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Nigeria CBDC Will Be Accessible Non-Internet Enabled Phones

Nigeria was supposed to launch its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), eNaira, this month.

However, due to legal issues, it was postponed.

Recently, its design paper was released.

Voice of Nigeria, a state-owned media outlet, revealed that the Nigerian Government plans to enable non-internet-enabled phones to use the eNaira, the new Digital Currency.

“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.”

Central Bank of Nigeria

As mentioned in the design paper, the eNaira will complement existing payment methods such as Mobile Banking apps, Point-of-Sale (PoS) terminals, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), Quick Response Code, and Internet banking.

Interoperability between eNaira and other CBDCs is also part of eNaira’s architecture, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“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,” further explained in the design paper.

It would be interesting to see how it will be carried out. Nigeria has set its target to achieve 95% financial inclusivity. The eNaira will play a significant role in achieving that. 

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