Nigeria extends eNaira offering to phones

Tuesday 14 June 2022 12:31 CET | News

The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced extending the eNaira service to phones, after the launch of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot in October 2021.

Initially, the offering was only available to bank account holders and via smartphone apps. Now the central bank plans to extend the payment service to feature phones by using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes which operate similarly to SMS. The hope is that this will further boost financial inclusion, which currently stands at around 70%.

Typically, The USSD codes involve texting a special number, and a response is sent to the user, giving them a menu of options, such as sending a payment. Initiating the payment involves the user sending another message.

There have been challenges with the adoption of the eNaira. Although there have been 764,000 app downloads, almost half have never used the app, and just 80 merchants are on the platform. Some may be less enthusiastic about using the platform as one of the motives is improving tax collection and transparency within the informal economy. 

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Keywords: CBDC, digital currency, digital assets, cryptocurrency, central bank, stablecoin
Categories: DeFi & Crypto & Web3
Companies: Central Bank of Nigeria
Countries: Nigeria
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DeFi & Crypto & Web3

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