The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has upgraded the eNaira by introducing a chip-enabled Near Field Communication (NFC) device into the eNaira.
The NFC feature will enhance the use of the eNaira by Nigerians without smart phones or internet access.
NFC is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology that enables the exchange of data between devices of over a 10 cm distance.
The NATION reports that with the introduction of NFC, eNaira wallet owners can transact financial businesses with little or no human contact with the aid of tags attached to their phones.
Speaking at the University of Abuja, where officials of the CBN went to promote the eNaira’s adoption by tertiary institution students, Mr. Joseph Angaye, a Deputy Director at the bank, said the CBN has decided to ramp up the campaign to engage students in the use of the eNaira.
The eNaira, he said, will provide additional services that are not available in the system like facilitating payment even when there’s no network” which is why they have introduced the NFC feature.
“I would like to say that recently we have been engaging with universities in all the geo-political zones of the country to talk to them about eNaira and to partner them to ensure that the eNaira is adopted as a means of financial transactions especially for revenues collection” he said.
The eNaira, he noted, has evolved from when it was inaugurated by former president Muhammadu Buhari almost two years ago, to world-class payment system instrument.
Angaye, while pitching the eNaira to the university community, said the apex bank, through the eNaira, has “achieved a number of milestones. There have been further developments in terms of improving the functionality.
Angaye said the CBN was motivated to engage university students “based on feedback input we have been getting from various stakeholders.”
He stated that the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) “is a new concept globally and Nigeria is one of the early adopters of CBDC, and we have gained a lot of experience and the world is coming to learn from Nigeria
“We have been very gracious in sharing our experiences, every day we are hosting people from the world bank, IMF and our sister central banks from across the world. They are coming to learn from our experiences.
Shedding more light on the eNaira Angaye said, the eNaira has not come to replace the physical naira, “it is not to replace the existing payment system infrastructure we already have, it was introduced to deepen the financial system especially the payment system, to address some challenges we saw in the payment system infrastructure and to compliment what we already have.”
“We are not introducing it to be a competitor to what the banks are doing or other service providers but to provide a platform they can leverage to provide more effective service.
“I am sure some of us have been experiencing some challenges from time to time using the payment system but the eNaira will help to promote financial inclusion, reduce congestion in the infrastructure so we are not bugged down by downtime registering the number of interfaces that it takes to initiate and complete transaction.
“It will reduce leakages when it comes to collection of revenue, it will reduce stress when it comes to issues of reconciliation of your accounting function.
The CBN is also pushing to make the eNaira the preferred means of revenue collection in tertiary institutions across the country.
In her address to the CBN officials the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Academics of the University of Abuja Prof. Aisha Sani Maikudi said “the university is ready to partner with the CBN to educate Nigerians globally.
The university of Abuja she disclosed now has “a robots virtual learning programme that can help develop content education in ways that can improve knowledge and confidence of Nigerians in the eNaira.”
She then announced that “the Department of Banking and Finance in the university will be dedicated to eNaira project in the school and our students and staff can serve as agents to this endeavor.”