Nigeria may allow flight bookings, cable and electricity payments with eNaira CBDC

Nigeria has been trying to get more citizens to adopt its national digital currency called eNaira since it was launched last year under the slogan “Same Naira, More Possibilities”. According to reports, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is trying to allow people to use eNaira for everyday payments like booking airline tickets and paying utility bills. The aim is to spread the use of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBDC) digital currency to more people.

CBN is considering updating its CBDC next week, making it suitable for daily payments in the country, according to a May 9 report by Nigerian publication Vanguard.

Nigerian Apex Bank has partnered with mobile banking company Bizi Mobile to facilitate user payments through their CBDC.

“Starting next week there will be an upgrade to the eNaira Speed ​​Wallet app that will allow you to make transactions like paying DSTV or utility bills or even paying for plane tickets,” the Vanguard report quoted Bariboloka Koyor as saying. Koyor controls the CBN’s Lagos office.

According to Koyor, the main difference between eNaira transactions and traditional online payment methods is the speed of transaction processing.

In addition, the CBN official said that eNaira could help the poverty-stricken Nigerians who would receive compensation from the government through the CBDC.

“This is a project that the CBN has launched to reach out to every Nigerian in terms of financial inclusion and efficiency, reliability and security of banking transactions, so that we can conduct banking transactions very easily and securely and the people of Nigeria can take advantage of the eNaira enjoy,” added Koyor.

The Nigerian government is urging people to become early adopters of the eNaira CBDC.

Nigeria is among other African nations like Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa that have tried cryptocurrencies in recent years.

The crypto market in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa together saw a 1,200 percent growth and reached a market valuation of $105.6 billion in one year.

Inflation is the main reason behind crypto adoption in these African regions.

The inflation rate in Nigeria rose from 11.4 percent in 2019 to 12.8 percent in 2020.

Despite the CBN ruling against legalizing crypto trading in the country, Nigerians have been experimenting with virtual assets.

Research firm Triple-A estimates that over 13 million Nigerians owned cryptocurrencies in 2021. That is 6.3 percent of the total population of Nigeria.

While the CBN has remained open to promoting its CBDC, it stands by its decision not to give crypto trading legal status in the nation.

CBDCs are structurally similar to cryptocurrencies in that they rely on blockchain networks to function as the underlying technology.

However, unlike the largely untraceable and independent crypto transactions, CBDCs are issued and regulated by central banks.

India, Russia, and Jamaica, among others, have already started work on their respective CBDCs. Nigeria may allow flight bookings, cable and electricity payments with eNaira CBDC

Ryan Sederquist

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