The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released new guidelines on how a state-backed digital currency (e-Naira) will be regulated, designed, and issued. The Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is on schedule to be launched on the 1st of October.
Expected to be a legal tender for the entire country, the e-Naira will be accessible to both bank account and non-account holders, according to a CBN presentation seen by TechCabal.
In order to meet the October deadline, a three-tier consumer “speed wallet” system will be issued by the apex bank before banks and other licensed operators can provide their own wallets for the e-Naira.
The tier 1 wallet is open to anyone without a bank account. It also comes with a transfer limit of ₦50,000 and a cumulative balance of ₦300,000 fixed daily. The minimum requirement to open this wallet is a National Identity Number (NIN).
For tier 2 wallets users, an existing bank account with a linked bank verification number (BVN) is the minimum requirement for this level. Users are restricted to sending and receiving ₦200,000 daily and having a balance of ₦500,000.
Tier 3 wallet holders can transact up to ₦1,000,000 daily with the cumulative balance set at ₦5,000,000. At least a BVN is needed to get this wallet category.
Transaction limits on merchant-level wallets are also set at ₦1,000,000 per day, though there are no limits to how much users can have in their accounts.
The e-Naira also has a non-interest-bearing CBDC status and in addition, there won’t be charges on merchant services, user-to-merchant, and peer-to-peer wallet transactions.
The zero charges also apply when users send money from their wallets to bank accounts and make withdrawals at agent or merchant locations.
After the launch, Nigerian banks can invite all their customers to register for the e-Naira, with necessary validation and verification processes.
The banking regulator notes that the e-naira system, being a National Critical Infrastructure, will be subject to comprehensive security checks.
According to the central bank, Nigerian banks are to “market and promote the adoption of eNaira as a digital version of cash to existing and potential customers, in support of financial inclusion objective of the CBN.”