The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to the central bank digital currency (CBDC) project, despite recent leadership changes.
In a strategic move to promote widespread adoption of the eNaira and enhance the functionality of the CBDC mobile app, the CBN has integrated Near Field Communication (NFC) technology for seamless and contactless payments, according to reports.
Previously, the eNaira mobile app relied on QR codes for transactions; however, with the integration of NFC technology, users can now experience convenient and secure interactions between their mobile devices and payment terminals.
NFC is a cutting-edge short-range wireless connectivity technology that utilizes magnetic field induction to enable swift and secure communication between devices.
At a recent eNaira sensitization workshop held at the University of Abuja, Joseph Angaye, the deputy director of the CBN’s risk management department, emphasized the importance of embracing technological advancements to foster economic growth.
He stated that this upgrade is expected to significantly boost the adoption rates for the CBDC, thus promoting a more digitally inclusive economy.
“The eNaira app has evolved to offer numerous benefits to users. In a rapidly digitizing world, the CBN is committed to staying at the forefront of technological innovation.
We were among the pioneers in launching the eNaira app, and now, with the addition of NFC technology, we have further enhanced its practicality and functionality,” said Angaye.
The programmable features of the eNaira app provide immense versatility, enabling it to be tailored for specific locations or purposes.
This flexibility proves particularly valuable for executing targeted intervention programs, ensuring funds are directed towards intended purposes and minimizing the risk of misuse or diversion.
Angaye further elaborated, “The beauty of the eNaira lies in its efficiency and safety. The incorporation of NFC technology addresses concerns related to transaction speed and settlement risks, enhancing user confidence in our CBDC.”
Since its launch in 2021, Nigeria has been among the pioneers in the global CBDC landscape, taking significant strides to drive adoption.
Despite initial challenges in meeting projected uptake, the CBN has proactively introduced use cases in the transport sector and integrated USSD functionality into the eNaira offering. These efforts reflect the CBN’s commitment to fostering a thriving digital economy.
It is essential to recall that in 2021, Nigeria’s central bank imposed restrictions on banks and financial institutions from facilitating digital currency transactions.
Nonetheless, the vibrant digital currency ecosystem in the country, coupled with the introduction of the eNaira, has resulted in Nigeria ranking among the largest volume of digital token transactions on peer-to-peer trading platforms globally.