The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has yesterday implemented new policies on how the country’s first-approved digital currency — the e-Naira — will be utilized, controlled, and distributed. The CBN plans to launch this new digital currency on the 1st of October, 2021 — on Nigeria’s 61st anniversary as an independent nation.
Per the Central Bank of Nigeria, the e-Naira will be issued as a digitalized legal tender for the nation and will be utilized by holders and non-holders or bank accounts.
To ensure that the national digital currency is successfully launched on the proposed date, a “Speed Wallet” will be issued to users by the Central Bank before other banks or licensed operators can create individual wallets to provide services on the e-Naira platform. This speedy wallet will have three tiers, which each tier having important functions.
The tier 1 wallet can be used by individuals who do not own bank accounts. Its daily transfer limit will be set at ₦50,000, and a cumulative balance of ₦300,000. However, users must have the National Identity Number to be able to open an account.
The tier 2 wallet will require users to link an existing bank account (backed up with the Bank Verification Number) to the wallet. Without doing this, one cannot own a tier 2 wallet. Here, the daily transfer limit will be set at ₦200,000 while the maximum balance will be ₦500,000.
Tier 3 wallet users will have a daily transfer limit of ₦1,000,000 and a total balance of ₦5,000,000. Users must link a BVN-backed bank account to their wallet.
Merchant-level wallets will also have transaction limits of ₦1,000,000. However, users can have as much money on the wallet as possible.
Users won’t be charged for peer-to-peer transactions, merchant services, user-to-merchant transactions, as the e-Naira doesn’t require the user to pay interests.
This is also applicable when users of any tier e-Naira wallet transfer money to their bank accounts or make withdrawals at outlets with licensed operators.
The CBN also disclosed that it will allow Nigerian banks to invite their customers to register on the digital platform, after its launch on October 1st. However, customers must pass through the necessary verification steps to validate their authenticity and whether their information is correct. Furthermore, the CBN stated that the new financial digital system will undergo a lot of technological scrutiny since it is a National Critical Infrastructure.
“Nigerian banks will be mandated to market and promote the e-Naira to their customers. This is in line with the financial inclusion objective of the Central Bank of Nigeria”, a spokesperson for the CBN said.