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eNaira: CBN plans to roll out app for persons without bank accounts

“A phone app specific for folks that are unbanked will be rolling out very soon, considering the fast follow-up from us.”

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eNaira, blockchain

Brian Popelka, Chief Executive Officer of Bitt Inc., has disclosed that a phone application for people without bank accounts will be rolling out soon.

Popelka explained that the present version of the eNaira app could only be used by people with bank accounts.

Techeconomy.ng understands that Bitt Inc. is the Central Bank of Nigeria’s technical partner for the digital currency, eNaira.

The central bank noted that the inclusion is a core objective of the eNaira.

Popelka, in an interview with CoinDesk, said:  “In Nigeria, it is a methodological rollout; this is our initial stage. A phone app specific for folks that are unbanked will be rolling out very soon, considering the fast follow-up from us.

“So that is how we see the financial inclusion question coming through. As far as interest goes, it is hard to say this early what the interest is. I imagine that the concept has a newness to it; people want to understand the inner workings of it and what to use it for.”

According to the CEO, launching the eNaira app was challenging, but the company relied on its past digital currency experience in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

Popelka added: “It is a sort of methodological rollout. We like the idea that there are stages. Nigeria has a very foursome rollout for all of the users for which we hope to get to over the course of many years, which means that they and we, of course, are in it for the long haul.

“Post-launch though, as you can imagine, as the initial rollouts, it is really just sign-ups. Well, the central bank has minted and disbursed digital currencies to several key financial institutions.

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“And therefore, there are merchants and consumers that are really just getting into the app store, downloading the app, and moving their traditional currencies into digital format at this stage.”

Popelka explained further that the government would not be able to access the individual purchase histories of individuals using the eNaira app but would able to access bulk transaction histories.

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According to the CEO, banks would have access to individual transactions in order to track fraud.

He added that the financial institutions have a role to play in ensuring more people trust and use the digital currency.

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