Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) Instant Payment solution will be available for Nigeria CBDC, eNaira transactions before the end of August 2022. This feature would allow eNaira users to seamlessly transact between the eNaira and any bank of their choice.
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Afterwards, both Merchants and Consumers with bank accounts can then use the NIBSS Instant Payment platform to transfer and receive eNaira into any bank account, in a drive to further deepen the integration of the digital currency with the existing national payment infrastructure.
Emefiele was speaking at the Grand Finale of the eNaira Hackathon, which according to him, marks another milestone in the apex bank’s journey towards building a formidable, future monetary system in the country, and of course in response to emerging trends in the global digital space.
The Hackathon event was an engagement with critical stakeholders in the financial technology space to deepen the link between eNaira and Fintechs.
President Buhari had, last October launched the eNaira, making Nigeria the first African country to launch a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
The first phase was focused on banked users, while the second borders around financial inclusion.
Emefiele described the eNaira as timely, and strategic in terms of complementing the various diversification and digitisation initiatives of the government including the launch of the Nigeria Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), National Broadband Strategy, as well as the introduction of the Start-Up Bill among others.
Since launch, the eNaira has reached 840,000 downloads, with about 270,000 active wallets comprising over 252,000 consumer wallets and 17,000 merchant wallets, he stated.
Volume and value of transactions on the platform have reached above 200,000 and N4.0 billion, respectively.
He said notwithstanding the appreciable progress, the second phase of the project has commenced and is intended to drive financial inclusion by leveraging innovation and offline channels.
“Hence, greater success is envisioned for the project with phase two expected to deliver more gains with a target of about 8,000,000 active users based on estimations using the diffusion of innovation model,” the governor stated.
Emphasizing that the eNaira is the same Naira with far more possibilities, Emefiele explained specifically that the digital currency is expected “to enhance financial inclusion, support poverty reduction, enable direct welfare disbursement to citizens, support a resilient payments ecosystem, improve availability and usability of central bank money, facilitate diaspora remittances, reduce the cost of processing cash, and reduce cost and improve the efficiency of cross-border payment among others.”