Central Bank of Nigeria drafts guidelines to banks on e-naira

Nigeria’s Central Bank had earlier announced plans to roll out its own digital currency in September this year

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has sent a presentation to Nigerian banks about the e-naira project, revealing more details about its design and operational module.

As seen by Nairametrics, the presentation describes how the new currency will be designed and operated.

In fact, the report states that the e-naira is legal tender for the entire country. The report also mentions that it will have non-interest-bearing CBDC status, a transaction limit for customers and a value-based transaction limit.

Participants in the e-naira programme are featured in five stages, including:

  1. Monetary authority suite: the Central Bank will be handling the first product component, which includes instructions on how to issue, distribute, redeem and destroy the currency. It will store data on a cloud server, monitor and analyse currency transactions.
  2. Financial institution suite: a licensed financial institution will be able to request currency or issue stablecoins, manage the digital currency across branches, KYC, identify and AML compliance capability.
  3. E-government suite: the government will be able efficiently to process digital payments sent to and received from citizens and businesses.
  4. Merchants will provide low-cost payment and business management software, point of sale, remote payment solutions, online capabilities, transaction analysis and reconciliation.
  5. Retail consumer suite: features user-centred designs for a great user experience. The architecture will be expandable to enable innovation; it also features advanced privacy and security.

Ready to roll

The proposed transaction cost for the e-naira wallet was also outlined by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The digital currency infrastructure does not charge for user-to-merchant transactions and P2P wallet transactions.

It will be the responsibility of Nigerian banks to promote and market the centrally issued digital currency as a cash alternative to existing and potential customers in support of the Nigerian apex bank’s goal for financial inclusion.

In order to catalyse the adoption of the e-naira, banks will facilitate onboarding and provide world-class customer service.

Nigerian banks will be allowed to invite all their customers to register for the e-naira. Besides pre-generated codes, the banks can send invitation codes for onboarding to a specific list of selected customers. Onboarding will be done for customers who have a code assigned by their bank. The banks have already validated and verified these customers.

Moreover, the Central Bank says the wallet provided by its institution is merely a stopgap measure for meeting the deadline, given that banks and other licensed operators may provide their own wallets. It does not intend to compete with the banks, the CBN says.

Full checks

Under the digital currency initiative, the Central Bank of Nigeria has made it clear that NIBSS and other switching platforms will still be in use.

The existing infrastructure can be integrated and leveraged in the e-naira implementation.

As an element of the National Critical Infrastructure, the e-naira system will be subject to comprehensive security checks. All data and personally identifiable information (PII) will be kept off the ledger and will not be stored there.

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