Nigeria: e-Naira hits 1.4m transactions

e Naira hits 1.4m transactions 1
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The efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure an efficient payment system in the country have boosted the e-Naira initiative, with transactions hitting N1.4 million, as of March 31, 2023.

The Governor of the bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this at the ongoing CBN’s 34th Seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors, holding in Calabar, Cross River State.

Mr Emefiele who was represented by the Director, of Policy, of the CBN, Dr Hassan Mahmoud, said that his team took advantage of COVID-19 and other developments in-country to drive the electronic payment channels.

His words, “The advent of the Corona Virus pandemic (COVID-19) no doubt triggered rapid advancements in financial technology leading to speedy digitisation of money and finance.

“The CBN took advantage of the opportunity by launching the eNaira in October 2021. The eNaira was developed to broaden the payment possibilities of Nigerians, foster digital financial inclusion, with potential for fast-tracking intergovernmental and social transfers.

“Since its launch, the CBN has continued to modify its features to make it more accessible to a wide range of users.

“Today, one does not need a smartphone to use the eNaira as it has become compatible with all generations of mobile devices (old and new). Till date, over 1.4m transactions have passed through the eNaira platform.”

On the Open Banking initiative, the governor said that it was aimed at expanding the cache of customer data warehoused in the financial sector for use in developing innovative products to service the needs of the public.

“The CBN will ensure that the data exchange will be done in a way to safeguard the privacy and concerns of the customers who own the data in the first place.

“The opportunities presented by open banking are diverse and it serves to enhance financial inclusion and encourage healthy competition in the financial services space as well as promote efficiency,” he said.

According to him, the initiative could help reduce cost of funds as banks would compete for customers in terms of I terests.

Commenting on the theme, “Implementing a Robust Payment Architecture: Prospects, Opportunities and Challenges,,”
Mr. Emefiele said that the institution introduced innovative solutions to make payment system more efficient, faster, transparent and safer for transactions settlement.

He added, “The payment system regulation and management role of the CBN is very critical in the achievement of its primary mandate of price and monetary stability conducive for inclusive and sustainable economic growth. It is also important for ensuring a stable, safe and efficient financial system in Nigeria.

“Cognisance of the implications of the risks that accompany digital innovations and technological advancement globally, the Central Bank of Nigeria, has continued to ensure a healthy balance between the adoption of latest innovations and development of reliable mitigants to the associated inherent and operational risks to both the payments system and the rest of the economic sectors in Nigeria.”

The CBN boss identified weak social infrastructure; activities of unlicensed entities; and cyber threats and fraud, as major challenges facing the nation’s payment system.

The CBN, he said, has put in place strategies to tackle the challenges including the establishment of the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF);
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard; and the Financial Industry Cybersecurity Fusion Centre, which serves as a sectoral Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) for the Nigerian Financial Services Industry, among others.

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