Crypto News

Central Bank of Nigeria seeks new CBDC technology partner – Bank urged to enhance e-Naira user experience – Africa

More than a year after launching its central bank digital currency with partner Bitt Inc, the Central Bank of Nigeria is reportedly looking for a new technology partner. The new partner aims to help the central bank implement a system that will give it greater control over the digital currency. One expert said the central bank should consider improving the user experience if it wants to see more Nigerians adopting e-naira.

Controlling the underlying technology of E-Naira

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is looking to install a new system to operate its central bank digital currency (CBDC) and is currently in talks with potential technology partners, a report said. According to one report, the central bank is keen to develop digital currency technology that will give it greater control over the CBDC.

R3, an enterprise technology and services provider, is one of the potential partners that has reportedly been in talks about deploying a different technology for the E-Naira. According to the report, CBN’s chosen partner is not expected to immediately oust the central bank’s original technology partner, Bitt Inc. Instead, the central bank hopes the new partnership will help it achieve its goal of controlling the underlying technology of the CBDC.

While no official comment has been made on CBN’s plans, Bitt Inc reportedly acknowledged that the Nigerian central bank is “working with various service providers to explore technical innovations for its digital infrastructure.” Despite this, the Barbados-based tech company said it is still working closely with the CBN and is “currently developing additional features and improvements.”

Regarding the plans reported by CBN, Lucky Uwakwe Arisukwu, the CEO of the 4th industrial revolution Sabi Group technology hub, agreed that the central bank’s desire to control the digital currency could be the main motivating factor. To support this point, Uwakwe pointed to the recently introduced domestic card system called Afrigo.

Just like E-Naira, the Afrigo program aims to strengthen the country’s national payment system and deepen the use of electronic platforms in Nigeria. Although the CBN governor has dismissed claims that the card scheme is aimed at crowding out international service providers, Uwakwe argued that the central bank could not have launched the scheme unless it had control. According to Uwakwe, the CBN intends to apply the same approach to the E-Naira.

Strengthening the e-naira

Despite being Africa’s only functioning CBDC, uptake of e-naira has been slow, and according to a report by News from August 2022, almost one million E-Naira speed wallets were downloaded at this point. The lukewarm response from the Nigerian public at the time reportedly prompted CBN to explore ways to get more Nigerians to download the E-Naira fast wallet.

One way the CBN has attempted to achieve this is by offering rewards to residents or merchants who accept the e-naira. In addition to these incentives, Uwakwe said that if the CBN wants to see more Nigerians using the CBDC, it should also work on improving the user experience.

“If the user experience is improved, they would definitely have a lot of adoption. The central bank, for example, must also consider mandating that all civil servants should receive part of their salary in e-naira format,” Uwakwe said.

The Sabi CEO also pointed out that commercial banks’ failure or reluctance to allow a seamless switch from e-naira to fiat naira and vice-versa may run counter to CBN’s efforts.

Sign up your email address here to receive weekly African news update in your inbox:

What do you think of this story? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Central Bank of Nigeria seeks new CBDC technology partner – Bank urged to enhance e-Naira user experience – Africa, Crypto Trading News

Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is an award-winning Zimbabwean journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively on the economic woes of some African countries, as well as how digital currencies can provide an escape route for Africans.

photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, WikiCommons

(function(d, s, id) {
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); = id;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button