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Nigerians display massive interest in eNaira initiative

download over 200,000 wallets in 24 hours

Nigerians displayed massive interest in the Central Bank’s eNaira initiative downloading over 200,000 wallets in 24 hours. This is according to information from sources in the Apex Bank with knowledge of the product.

Nigeria’s President Buhari launched the eNaira on Monday the 25th of October 2021, making Nigeria the first African country to create a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Nairametrics gathers about 156,700 consumer wallets were downloaded while 23,650 merchant wallets were downloaded suggesting a massive early interest and adoption by Nigerians.

A quick check on the Google PlayStore where information about the number of app downloads is displayed indicates over 100,000 downloads have been recorded thus far. Merchant downloads, which are meant for corporates have about 10,000 plus downloads. To put this into context, popular banking apps like GTB, Access Bank, Kuda Bank all have 1 million-plus downloads respectively on the Google Play Store. The apps have been available for years. First Bank has over 5 million-plus downloads, one of the most downloaded banking apps in Nigeria. Apple, meanwhile, does not disclose the number of downloads for apps in the App Store.

A series of negative reviews trail early downloads

Despite the impressive numbers, early reviews of the app indicate frustrations among Nigerians who have downloaded the app. With over 2,596 app reviews, the app has an assigned rating of just 2 stars (2.9 stars with 81 rating on the Apple Store). Some complaints bother around challenges with registration, with some users having to wait for more than 24 hours to get a confirmation email. For example, an app user, “Ben” complained about having challenges with signing up despite several attempts.

“I have made several attempts to sign up but all to no avail. Each attempt produces a different ERROR report eg: you don’t have email registered with your bank. But “I do”. I tried again after some hours. ERROR report: You cannot register at this moment, try again later.. And on and on. It’s really frustrating. The developers of the site didn’t do good work therein.”

Another app user, Fajuyi Michael abandoned downloading the app.

“The app says ‘no email is attached to your BVN.’ I can’t register just because of this…. Sort this out otherwise many people will face similar issue. So far every data provided by the user is matching with BVN data. Email address shouldn’t be a stumbling block. What if one has changed the email attached to BVN if any.. Make I waka pass jare for now.”

The Central Bank responded by saying:

“Hello Beni, We highly regret the inconvenience. However, we could not understand the exact problem. Please shoot us a message at helpdesk@enaira.gov.ng with relevant details. We’ll be more than happy to assist you. Thanks.”

What is the e-Naira?

  • The e-Naira will be a digit representative of the paper Naira currency issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
  • The eNaira will be a “complementary” legal tender in Nigeria, having the same exchange value as the Naira, and maintaining a “parity of value” with the Naira.
  • The e-Naira will not earn any interest to holders.

The e-Naira is built on a blockchain open ledger technology. Creating the eNaira on the blockchain means you cannot have a duplicate or fake eNaira. Each eNaira note will be unique.

 Some reasons you should use the digital currency

The fourth industrial revolution has ushered in Africa’s first Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the eNaira, set to be launched by Nigeria. The eNaira is posed to benefit the everyday Nigerians and the country at large.

Hence, it would be prudent to understand why individuals should jump on the eNaira bandwagon.

Assuming there are no last-minute incidents, Nigerians would be able to download the eNaira wallet and use the digital currency for the first time today.

Backstory

Before we get too excited, we should remember that the CBN’s Director of Communication, Mr Osita Nwanisobi announced a postponement of the launch of Nigeria’s digital currency, the eNaira, previously scheduled to hold on October 1, 2021.

However, Nairametrics in an exclusive report, uncovered that the unanticipated surge in visits on the website of the Central Bank’s eNaira initiative led to the sudden postponement of the launch.

Also, while the eNaira was facing heated litigation over its trademark infringement on the name “eNiara,” a Federal High Court in Abuja gave the nod for the CBN to roll out the digital currency.

Despite the delay in the launch of the much-anticipated eNaira, it appears that banks have started to onboard the e-Naira feature on their applications, hence, individuals should be able to covert their Naira to eNaira with their bank application.

Why you should use the eNaira

The CBN stated earlier that the eNaira is meant to create a secure and cost-effective process for remittance inflow to the country, amongst other benefits.

When compared to FIAT, the eNaira has a lower cost. The account holder is not charged for daily transfers between accounts. The fact that traders will not be charged fees for withdrawals and deposits to and from their bank account is a huge incentive. Transaction fees are eliminated, lowering the cost of doing business while increasing security.

The apex bank also stated that eNaira’s usability would improve as Nigerians without internet-enabled phones would be able to transact without having to subscribe to data or having an internet-enabled phone.

The CBN has also said that the eNaira can serve as a medium for the government to send direct payments to citizens eligible for specific welfare programs.

What you should know about the eNaira

  • The eNaira shall be administered by the CBN through the Digital Currency Management System (DCMS) to mint and issue eNaira.
  • Financial institutions shall maintain a treasury eNaira wallet for holding and managing eNaira on the DCMS.
  • The Financial institutions (FI) Suite is the primary application used by the FIs to manage their digital currency holdings, requests, and redemption with the CBN.
  • The eNaira stock wallet belongs solely to the CBN and it shall warehouse all minted eNaira.
  • Two-factor authentication and other measures shall be adopted to ensure the security of the eNaira wallet.
  • The charges for eNaira transactions shall be in line with the Guide to Charges by Banks, Other Financial and Non-bank Financial Institutions.
  • Financial Institutions are required to comply with the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended), the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 (as amended) and all subsisting anti-money laundering laws and regulations as may be issued by the CBN from time to time.
  • The eNaira is equitant to the physical Naira, it is the official tender of Nigeria and is a liability of the CBN. The eNaira and Naira will always be exchanged 1:1, meaning it would only appreciate when the Naira is stronger.
  • Consumer Complaints concerning the usage of the eNaira shall be referred to the Helpdesk of users’ preferred FI Helpdesk. If unresolved by the FI Helpdesk, it shall be escalated to the eNaira Helpdesk via 0800myeNaira (0800 6936 2472) or helpdesk@enaira.com for resolution.

How the eNaira speed wallet works

The eNaira is a new digital currency created and regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The digital currency went live yesterday and is available for download.

It functions as a medium of exchange and a store of value, providing users with quick, secure, and easy transactional options. Users can make contactless payments with the eNaira app by scanning a QR code.

The eNaira has both the user and merchant app available for android and iOS. The eNaira user wallet called the “eNaira Speed Wallet” is a fast and convenient way to conduct financial transactions. The app already has over 50,000 installs on Playstore.

How the eNaira speed wallet works

  • Download eNaira Speed Wallet from your Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
  • Select your bank from the list of banks provided.
  • Input the following details: First Name, Last Name, Date of Birth, State of Origin, and Email. The details must be the same you used during BVN enrolment
  • Fund your eNaira Speed Wallet through your banks’ mobile app and start receiving, sending, and managing your digital currency.

Pros: You can send, receive and spend your eNaira from your eNaira wallet without charges.

Cons: The eNaira requires BVN and a valid email address associated with your BVN for verification. Users that registered for BVN without an email address will have to go to their local banks to update their BVN with an email address before they can use the eNaira app.

The eNaira does not yield any interest.

eNaira speed merchant wallet

The eNaira speed merchant wallet is designed for businesses. Whether your business is remote, online, or in-person, the merchant wallet offers a convenient way to receive money. Users can easily scan their merchant QR code to pay you. The merchant app has over 5000 installs

To sign up as a merchant, you must have:

  • Tax identification number
  • Bank account number
  • Valid email address

Phone number

President Buhari says eNaira would help tackle illegal fund transfers

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that eNaira would make the financial sector more efficient and help tackle the illicit flow of funds.

President Buhari stated this while speaking at the fifth edition of the Future Investment Initiative Summit which held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Buhari said that Nigeria is at the forefront of the digital economy, having launched the eNaira on the 25th of October 2021, becoming the first country in Africa with a central bank digital currency.

What President Buhari is saying 

In his address, the President stated that the eNaira was a solid step in the right direction and would boost the financial sector and checkmate fraudulent transfers.

e-Naira, the electronic version of our national currency, which puts us on track to become the first African country to introduce a Central Bank Digital Currency” was launched on October 25th, 2021. We believe this and many other reforms, will help us increase the number of people participating in the banking sector, make for a more efficient financial sector and help us tackle illicit flow of funds.

To further strengthen our anti-corruption drive, increase accountability and transparency, we have centralized government funds through a Treasury Single Account, and ensuring that all Nigerians with a bank account use a unique Bank Verification Number (BVN). These initiatives, coupled with our nationwide National Identification Number (NIN) exercise, reinforce our efforts to tackle corruption and fraud. We believe that this should give investors a lot of comforts,” the President stated.

He emphasised the relevance of the digital economy and how Nigeria is ripe for investment particularly in the digital space, saying, “Digital Economy in Nigeria has many potentials for investment, as it has remained the fastest growing sector in both 2020 and 2021. Nigeria has many opportunities for investment in broadband, ICT hardware, emerging technology and software engineering. We have recently approved the national policy on Fifth Generation (5G) network. Our aim is to attract investors in healthcare, smart cities, smart agriculture among others. The benefit of real-time communication will support all other sectors of the economy,”

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