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CBN Enhances eNaira with NFC Upgrade for Contactless Payments in Nigeria

CBN boosts eNaira with NFC upgrade, enabling seamless and contactless payments in Nigeria and spearheading digital transformation

Shashank Bhardwaj
Published: Jul 24, 2023 03:00:25 PM IST
Updated: Jul 24, 2023 03:48:03 PM IST

CBN Enhances eNaira with NFC Upgrade for Contactless Payments in NigeriaImage: Shutterstock

The Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) project, also known as eNaira, remains steadfast in its commitment, despite recent leadership changes at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). In a bid to drive adoption rates and enhance user experience, the CBDC mobile app has been integrated with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology by the CBN.

NFC technology allows mobile devices and payment terminals to interact when in close proximity, facilitating seamless and contactless eNaira payments. The move comes as the CBN aims to modernise the eNaira platform and align it with global standards.

Previously, the eNaira app featured QR codes, but the latest NFC upgrade is expected to increase the CBDC's adoption rates. Joseph Angaye, the deputy director of the CBN's risk management department, emphasised the banking regulator's commitment to leveraging innovative technology to enhance the user experience.

The CBN's push towards programmability features in the CBDC offers added security and targeted fund allocation. Limiting CBDC payments exclusively to designated government programs reduces the risk of fraud. Farmers, for instance, can benefit from specific fund allocation for purposes such as tool acquisition. This approach ensures that funds transferred to their eNaira wallets are non-divertible for unrelated purposes, promoting transparency and adherence to the intended use.

Angaye highlighted numerous advantages of CBDCs for retail users in Nigeria, including mitigating settlement risks and enabling rapid transaction processing. The eNaira aims to address the issue of financial inclusion, and Nigeria's pioneering role in adopting CBDCs provides valuable insights for other economic players and entities.

Former CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele attributed the slow adoption to commercial banks prioritising their profitability over eNaira's growth. However, the CBN remains determined to improve the CBDC project and overcome adoption challenges.

Joseph Angaye's pride in Nigeria's digital currency infrastructure reinforces the CBN's commitment to staying at the forefront of digital currency innovation. The CBN's focus on user experience and incorporating cutting-edge technologies like NFC demonstrates its dedication to serving the financial needs of users and ensuring the eNaira meets international standards.

As eNaira continues to evolve, the CBN's collaboration with the University of Abuja showcases its commitment to exploring new opportunities and applications for digital currency. The NFC innovation promises significant benefits, potentially transforming accounting systems and driving wider adoption in various sectors.

By harnessing the potential of NFC technology and its commitment to technological advancements, Nigeria's Central Bank aims to establish eNaira as a leading digital currency, providing valuable lessons and insights for other countries interested in implementing similar CBDC initiatives.

Shashank is the founder of yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash

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