Following a one-day engagement session in Lagos, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and key stakeholders in the payments system ecosystem, particularly Payment Service Providers (PSPs) and a large community of fintech groups have resolved to work together to ensure greater adoption of the recently launched Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the eNaira.
Mrs Rakiya Mohammed, CBN director, information technology department, stated at the licensed PSPs engagement session held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Lagos yesterday that the CBN was not in competition with the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) or other actors in the Nigerian payment system ecosystem.
Mrs Mohammed stated that the interaction was part of the CBN’s objective to get all stakeholders on board what she called a “journey,” stressing that the CBN was open to recommendations and innovation aimed at improving the user experience and adding value to the eNaira.
She urged payment service providers (including the large community of Fintech firms) to come up with more innovative ways to assist members of the public in the onboarding process and use of eNaira, as well as develop solutions for offline eNaira functions such as cards, wearables, and USSD, among other things.
She also charged licensed PSPs to build additional products and services across the full spectrum of the financial system utilizing eNaira, while also admonishing them to create other use cases for the eNaira.
Mohammed further revealed that the full implementation of the eNaira, which began with bank onboarding, will be completed in four phases, concluding in offline eNaira payment solutions, cross-border payment, and eNaira interoperability with other Central Banks.
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Representatives from many stakeholder groups praised the introduction of eNaira and voiced enthusiasm for its adoption and use. They also presented value-added ideas for the market and integration process to promote financial inclusion by bridging the gap between “banked” and “unbanked” people.
According to a statement released on Monday, the CBN team and several stakeholder groups have committed to meet regularly to discuss progress made in enabling more Nigerians to utilize eNaira.
The CBN team included Samuel Okojere, director, banking services department; Musa Jimoh, director, payment system management; Dr Blaise Ijebor, director, risk management; Mr Chibuzor Efobi, director, financial policy and regulations department; and Mary Fasheitan, special adviser to the CBN Governor on payment systems.
Payment Service Banks, Switching and Processing firms; Mobile Money Operators, payment solution service providers, payment terminal service providers, and super agents were among the several entities present during the engagement.
The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), shared agent network expansion facilities (SANEF), and the committee of banking sector executives was also in attendance.