The Central Bank of Nigeria has finally unveiled the USSD code for the country’s digital currency, eNaira.
The unveiling took place in Kano State where the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, was represented by the deputy governor of operations, Folashodun Adenisi-Shonubi.
The apex bank said the code, *997#, will help deepen financial inclusion as all transactions can be accessed through the channel.
In a tweet, the bank said eNaira is expected to support poverty reduction, enable direct welfare disbursement, support a resilient payments ecosystem, improve availability usability of money, facilitate diaspora remittances, reduce the cost of processing cash & improve the efficiency of cross-border payment.
“CBN continues to show its commitment to inclusive and welfare-centred policies espoused in policy communication and action through various development finance initiatives under the leadership of the CBN Godwin I. Emefiele.
“The eNaira USSD channel in time would be used as a tool for interventions and welfare disbursements to Nigerians towards enhancing economic prosperity and improving the standard of living for all Nigerians,” it added.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele said last week said since the launch of the initiative last year, the eNaira has reached 840,000 downloads, with about 270,000 active wallets comprising over 252,000 consumer wallets and 17,000 merchant wallets.
In addition, he stated that the volume and value of transactions on the platform have been remarkable, reaching above 200,000 and N4bn, respectively.
Emefiele noted that while the successes achieved so far including the global recognition of the CBN eNaira initiative, it must be acknowledged that the journey is iterative and therefore, requires cutting-edge innovation to sustain the vision and achieve the set-out policy objectives.
According to him, the eNaira was also developed to provide Nigerians with a cheap, safe and trusted means of payment.
He said, “Unlike the offline payments’ channels like agent networks, USSD, wearables, cards, and near field communication technology, the eNaira would give access to financial services to underserved and unbanked segments of the population.
“Innovative products and services built on the eNaira would enhance Nigerians’ participation in the digital economy and promote further development of a burgeoning Fintech ecosystem.
“To achieve these set-out objectives, the project adopted a phased- approach with the first phase focusing on banked users, while the policy objective of the second phase borders around financial inclusion.
“In addition, the eNaira platform possesses an innovation layer for products and services to be built with the aim of enhancing Nigerians’ participation in the digital economy and promoting further development of a burgeoning Fintech ecosystem.”