e-Naira: CBN limits transactions to N50,000 for non-account holders

Appoints technical partner for digital currency project

T he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set an initial transaction limit of N50, 000 for non- account holders preparatory to the take-off of its digital currency set for October 1.

The apex bank has also engaged global Fintech company, Bitt Inc., as the Technical Partner for its digital currency, named e-Naira, which is due to be unveiled later in the year.

In a guide released by the bank to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), the CBN stipulated a transaction limit for customers, non-interest-bearing Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) status, and an account value limit.

CBN said neither merchants nor customers using the wallet will be charged a fee even as the e-Naira is a legal tender for the entire country.

The bank said it will have non-interest-bearing CBDC status, a transaction limit for customers, and a value-based transaction limit.

There are three levels to the CBN “Speed Wallet” issued primarily to meet the October 1st deadline.

As a means to transact value, the wallet does not compete with existing banks, but is awaiting the creation of wallets by banks and other innovators.

With the first tier, Speed Wallet can be used by anyone who does not have a bank account. However, users will have to submit a passport photo, a name, birth date and place, a phone number, and their address.

The guide stated that a N50,000 limit is in place for Send & Receive while the minimum requirement is the individual’s National Identity Number (NIN), which will be validated. Also, a cumulative balance of N300, 000 is fixed each day.

An account with an existing bank is required for users of Tier Two wallets. The user is limited to sending and receiving two hundred thousand naira per day with a Cumulative Balance of N500, 000 daily. A Bank Verification Number (BVN) is the minimum requirement for this level.

The bank said Tier Three allows daily transactions of N1 million, with daily cumulative balances of N5 million even as a BVN is required.

“Those who possess this merchant level can send or receive a million naira daily. A merchant can move as much money as they want into their bank accounts,” the CBN said.

The CBN also outlined that Nigerian banks will be allowed to invite all their customers to register for the e-Naira.

“Besides pre-generated codes, the banks can send invitation codes for onboarding to a specific list of selected customers. Onboarding will be done for customers who have a code assigned by their banks. The banks have already validated and verified these customers,” the central bank said.

It further disclosed that the wallet provided by its institution was merely a stop-gap measure for meeting the deadline, given that banks and other licensed operators may provide their own wallets since it did not intend to compete against the banks.

“As a National Critical Infrastructure, the e-naira system will be subject to comprehensive security checks, all data and personally identifiable information (PII) will be kept off the ledger and will not be stored on the ledger,” the apex bank said.

In order to catalyse the adoption of e-Naira, banks will facilitate onboarding and provide world-class customer service.

Meanwhile, the CBN has appointed Bitt Inc. as technical partner for its digital currency, e-Naira.

A statement by CBN’s Director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, said the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, made the announcement.

He said Mr. Godwin Emefiele listed the benefits of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to include increased cross border trade, accelerated financial inclusion, cheaper and faster remittance inflows, easier targeted social interventions, as well as improvements in monetary policy effectiveness, payment systems efficiency, and tax collection.

He said Project Giant, as the Nigerian CBDC pilot is known, has been a long and thorough process for the CBN, with the Bank’s decision to digitize the naira in 2017, following extensive research and explorations.

The governor said given the significant explosion in the use of digital payments and the rise in the digital economy, the CBN’s decision follows a global trend in which over 85 percent of central banks are now considering adopting digital currencies in their countries.

He said: “the CBN’s selection of Bitt Inc, from among highly competitive bidders, was hinged on the company’s technological competence, efficiency, platform security, interoperability, and implementation experience.”

In choosing Bitt Inc, he said, “the CBN will rely on the company’s tested and proven digital currency experience, which is already in circulation in several Eastern Caribbean Countries. Bitt Inc. was key to the development and successful launch of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in April 2021.”


Source : Daily trust

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