From Uche Usim, Abuja
To boost its service offerings and make it more user-friendly, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has upgraded the eNaira app with Near Field Communication (NFC) enablement, making it a top-notch, globally-recognised application.
NFC is the technology that allows two devices, like a mobile phone and a payment terminal to talk to each other when they are close together.
eNaira having an NFC-enabled payments reader that can accept contactless payments in a few seconds makes it unique and secure.
Speaking at an eNaira sensitisation workshop at the University of Abuja on Thursday, the CBN team leader, Joseph Angaye, who is also the deputy director, risk management department, said the apex bank’s payment infrastructure ranks among the top five globally, adding that it invests handsomely in service upgrade.
According to him, the eNaira has evolved and has received positive feedback from users and stakeholders.
“There are many benefits of the eNaira app. The world is going digital and the CBN cannot afford to lag behind. So, when there’s a new technology, we embrace it. We were like the second nation to launch the eNaira app. The app has many uses and advantages. It can be programmed.
“For instance, it can be programmed to be spent within Abuja or any specific location or to be spent on specific items as so programmed.
“That’s why it is very important in executing intervention programmes. If we want to get funds across to farmers to acquire tools or for any other specific thing, we programme it. They cannot divert the money transfered into their eNaira wallet to some other things like marrying more wives and all that. It will not serve our purpose.
That’s the beauty of it. Speed of transaction, reduction of settlement risks have all been taken care of by the CBN’s eNaira.
“CBN digital currency is a new global concept and CBN is one the earliest adopters. We keep hosting many world economic players and bodies to learn from our experience.
“It was created to deepen financial payment system infrastructure. It’s not a competitor for banks and other payment systems services providers. It’s to help reduce the number of interfaces needed to initiate and complete payments.
It’ll reduce leakages in terms of payment collection, deepen financial inclusion, and generally provide more services that will benefit Nigerians”, he explained.
Also speaking, another CBN official, Shadrach Abdul, said the eNaira app is just like cash but in electronic form.
“We felt we should innovate and build more means of exchanging service.
We now have NFC where we stick a sticker to your phone and use it to make payments.
“Even if you don’t have a smartphone, you can stick it to any phone and it automatically makes it a smartphone and offers the same service. You can use it with any eNaira merchant.
It’s going to be revolutionary and we thought it wise to deploy at the University of Abuja.
“It presents a world of new opportunities and will be a game changer in the University’s accounting systems”, he explained.
In her remarks at the event, Prof Aisha Sani Maikudi, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, of the university, urged the apex bank to partner with the institution in executing its strategic projects to ensure wider success.
She assured the CBN of the varsity’s support in helping to educate and sensitise the school community about the inherent gains of adopting eNaira as a transaction platform.
She also tasked the apex bank to ensure all infrastructure projects it embarked on are completed and successfully delivered to the varsity.