CBN Integrates NFC Technology Into its CBDC App

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has moved a step further in promoting the adoption of its central bank digital currency (CBDC), the e-Naira.

Markedly, the apex bank has shown its commitment to the e-Naira project with no sign of abandoning it anytime soon despite the ousting of its governor Godwin Emefiele which happened almost two months ago after a new leadership came into power.

Nigeria Upgraded its CBDC to Boost Adoption

Local media house The Sun confirmed that CBN has integrated Near Field Communication (NFC) technology into the CBDC mobile app to enhance the platform. Generally, NFC technology allows mobile devices and payment terminals in close proximity to interact with one another. For the e-Naira this upgrade would facilitate fast, convenient, contactless transactions.

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Noteworthy, Nigeria’s CBDC was officially unveiled in Abuja, the capital city, by the former president, Muhammadu Buhari after receiving approval from the Federal High Court of Nigeria in 2021.

According to the CBN, the e-Naira was designed in collaboration with the banking community and relevant stakeholders. It also “marks a major step forward in the evolution of money and the CBN is committed to ensuring that the eNaira, like the physical Naira, is accessible by everyone.”

Mobile Banking Feature for e-Naira

So far, the CBDC project has undergone several upgrades and integration to make it easier for Nigerians to navigate. Last year, the use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) on mobile phones for e-Naira transactions was introduced for users. Specifically, users will only be required to dial *997# from their phones to initiate a transaction.

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Those with bank accounts can also complete e-Naira transactions by using NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP). At the time, Governor Emefiele explained that “Nigerians, both banked and unbanked, will be able to open an eNaira wallet and conduct transactions by simply dialling *997# from their phones.”

Additional Features Coming Soon to e-Naira

There had also been the integration of QR codes to boost the adoption rate of the e-Naira. The deputy director of the CBN’s risk management department Joseph Angaye mentioned that the banking regulator is committed to leveraging innovative technology to improve users’ experience. 

He announced that the e-Naira would be furnished with some programmability features that could limit CBDC payments exclusively to designated government programs, and in return, reduce the risk of fraud.

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