The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the development of eNaira enhanced services to address challenges faced by unbanked Nigerians.
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The initiative enables customers to use the unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) code *997*50# to carry out all banking transactions.
Also, customers are able to fund their eNaira wallets with cash-purchased vouchers like GSM recharge cards or from a funded bank account.
Bayo Akintoye, founder/chief executive officer of Bullnet platform, announced the development at a media parley on Thursday in Lagos.
Akintoye said that the service, fully run and powered by the Bullnet platform, was aimed at soothing the pains felt by Nigerians, given the current scarcity of cash in the country.
“The CBN has collaborated with Chamsmobile Limited (a CBN-licensed mobile money operator and super-agent) to address challenges faced primarily by the unbanked, the underserved and those on the other side of the digital divide by developing the service known as ‘eNaira enhanced services’ via the eNaira USSD channel (*997*50#) which is fully run and powered by the patented Bullnet Platform,” NAN quoted Akintoye as saying.
“This wallet can be funded directly using this platform with cash purchased vouchers like GSM recharge cards or from a funded bank account using bank cards via the web portal that has been provided or using electronic payments with any authorised agents.
“Users can also transfer eNaira from one wallet to another simply by putting in the recipient’s phone number.
“This service also makes it possible for users to cash out by sending the eNaira directly from their wallets to an ATM and withdrawing the cash equivalent without need of a bank account or bank card.
“The users can also send eNaira to a designated account for savings or further transactions.’’
Also speaking at the event, Rakiya Mohammed, director of information technology department, CBN, commended Bullnet for coming out with a homegrown innovation.
Mohammed was represented at the event by Otaru Abdulkadir, eNaira Project Giant Team.
“As it is today, we are able to transact on the eNaira with four methods; you can scan to pay, you could use your wallet ID that is when you are onboard, and the eNaira gives you a 10 digit number,” Mohammed said.
“And of course you can use USSD, and it is for everyone. It is available for everyone with a mobile phone. It doesn’t have to be a smartphone or any data phone.”
She disclosed that the apex bank is in talks to include other telcos on the eNaira platform to widen its adoption and acceptance nationwide.
She said that eNaira transactions are only enabled on MTN and 9mobile networks at the moment but that would soon change.
“We are still in the process of getting more telcos to buy into the USSD. We have a third-party service and they were able to get us MTN and 9Mobile,” Mohammed said.
“We are already speaking to Airtel and Glo as well and soon we will have them onboard with the eNaira.”