The Central Bank of Nigeria has launched the USSD channel of the Central Bank Digital Currency tagged the eNaira on Bullnet platform to boost the usage of the platform.
It was launched in Lagos on Thursday during an event to discuss the cash crunch and how the services introduced by Bullnet on the USSD channel of the eNaira would solve the problem.
During the launch, the Chief Executive Officer, Bullnet Bulletin and Enquiries Networking Services, Bayo Akintoye, said the USSD with the code *997*50#, would soothe the pain felt by Nigerians given the current scarcity of cash as it transitioned from cash-based economy to a cashless one.
He said, “The CBN has collaborated with Chamsmobile Limited (a CBN licensed Mobile Money Operator and Super-Agent) to address challenges faced primarily by the unbanked, the underserved and those on the other side of the digital divide by developing the service known as ‘eNairaeNhanced Services’ via the eNaira USSD channel (*997*50#) which is fully run and powered by the patented Bullnet Platform.
“It is expected that Nigerians will proudly associate with this innovation and register to have the eNaira wallet. These wallets can be funded directly with cash-purchased vouchers (like the GSM recharge cards) or from funded bank accounts using bank cards via the web portal or using electronic payment with any authorized agent.
“Users can also transfer eNaira from one wallet to another simply by inputting the recipient’s phone number. The service also makes it possible for users to cash out by sending the eNaira directly from their wallets to an ATM and withdrawing the cash equivalent without the need for a bank account or bank card. The user can also send eNaira to a designated bank account for savings or further transactions.”
He explained that in line with the cashless policy instituted by the CBN, the eNaira was established under the Project Giant initiative and launched by the President of Nigeria in October 2021.
The network of banking agents across the country such as the Chamsmobile Super Agents and other mobile money agents, the POS agents and the growing eNaira adoption agents would now become eNaira extension workers who would be involved with eNaira agency, (selling vouchers to customers at a profit and onboarding new users), education and advocacy (creating awareness and education to the masses about the concept of the CBDC and its benefits), he said.
The Project Coordinator, eNaira Project Giant Team, Otaru Abdulkadir, who represented the Co-ordinator, eNaira, CBN said, the eNaira was introduced to improve financial inclusion in the states, increase cross border transactions, diaspora remittances and the likes and also complement our payment infrastructure.
“As it is today, we are able to transact on the eNaira with four methods; you can scan to pay, you could use your wallet ID that is when you onboard, and the eNaira it gives you a 10 digit number. And of course you can use USSD strength, and it is for everyone. It is available for everyone with a mobile phone. It doesn’t have to be a smartphone or any data phone.”