• Monday, July 15, 2024
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CBN approves rewards scheme for merchants, users of eNaira

Can introduction of eNaira increase Nigeria’s GDP by $29bn?

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved a reward scheme for users of the eNaira, including merchants. This includes providing merchants with the required promotional materials, subsidising the current Merchant Service Charge by 50% and activation of a nationwide sensitization which early business adopters of eNaira can leverage on to market its wider adoption.

CBN Deputy Governor, Economic Policies, Kingsley Obiora, announced the reward scheme weekend at the eNaira merchants mega event in Abuja, organized by the apex bank, in collaboration with Araba Technologies LTD, PNAIL and Abuja Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) for Nigerian business community.

The event was targeted at merchants, traders, cooperative societies, business association, supermarket, hotels, restaurant chains, service providers, private school owners, transporters, Small and Medium Business Enterprises amongst others, to help them understand the importance of the eNaira.

As recently announced by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, Obiora confirmed that the eNaira platform can now facilitate payments using QR Codes, USSD, Wallet ID and eNaira Wallet tag. Value added services on the platform includes branch/sub wallets, employee management as well as interoperability with other enterprise applications.

“These services are provided in a secure environment as the eNaira platform was built using very secure security protocol,” he assured.

“Other innovative services on the eNaira platform are expected to be rolled out by the CBN in collaboration with financial institutions and Fintechs that are already leveraging on the eNaira technology.”

With the eNaira, the CBN seeks to enable businesses and households across and outside the country to make fast, efficient, and reliable payments.

Read also: CBN rolls out USSD code for eNaira transactions

Some of the expected benefits arising from the adoption of the eNaira include deepening financial inclusion; improvement in the efficiency of the payments system; enhancement of cross-border payments and remittances; Improved trade integration; a viable option for the distribution of stimulus and government interventions and improved transmission of monetary policy.

Through the evolution of offline payments channels like agent networks, USSD, wearables, cards and near field communication technology, the eNaira would give access to financial services to the underserved and unbanked segments of the population.

So far, the eNaira has reached over 840,000 downloads, with about 270,000 active wallets comprising over 252,000 consumer wallets and 17,000 merchant wallets, according to official data.

Volume and value of transactions on the platform have reached above 200,000 and N4.0 billion, respectively.

Obiora said that the adoption of the eNaira presents further opportunities for increasing business income.

He explained that for instance, the availability of eNaira payment option on e-Commerce merchant platform such as Remita is expected to complement the existing digital payment system, translating to about 50% increment in e-commerce transactions and at a lower cost.

Also, the implementation of cross-border transactions in phase 3 of the eNaira project is expected to increase cross-border trade by about 30%. It is also expected that lower transaction cost would increase the usage, in terms of transaction volume and value of eNaira and improve income generation by businesses.

“Merchants such as petrol stations, supermarkets, e-Commerce and other businesses not only have significant roles to play in driving the adoption of the eNaira, but can also leverage on the opportunities offered by eNaira to improve cash management and make significant savings in operating cost.

“More specifically, benefits to the merchants include reduced cash handling costs, elimination of failed transactions, instant settlement, increased speed of transactions, improvement in records keeping and elimination of challenges associated with giving change to customers, amongst others,” the Deputy Governor stressed.

The President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, who also spoke at the event noted that digital financial inclusion if embraced would help eradicate many issues surrounding cash transactions.

He raised the concern that despite the high expectations and hype around the eNaira, the business community is yet to fully embrace it, ten months since the launch.

He listed the benefits of the CBN digital currency to the business community to include speedy delivery, safe, and simple trading and transactional opportunities to customers and end-users.