CBN limits e-Naira digital currency transactions to N1million for merchants

*The Central Bank of Nigeria has stated the Deposit Money Banks are expected to market and promote the adoption of e-Naira as a digital version of cash to existing and potential consumers in support of financial inclusion objective of the apex bank in the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Although it is still working out the final transaction costs for digital currency consumers in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is said to have barred merchants from exceeding N1million a deal on e-Naira transactions, in line with the guideline on the usage of digital currency in the country.

ConsumerConnect gathered this measure is part of the operating model and prototype design of the payment platform expected to begin Friday, October 1, 2021.

The N1 million ceiling is placed on sending and receiving money per transaction on the eNaira, but there is no limit to the amount merchants can sweep to their bank accounts, according to report.

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN

The regulator is said to be working out the final transaction costs for digital currency users in the country.

“The Project Giant, unveiled by the CBN to banks, sets limits for eNaira transactions to be conducted by digital currency users with banks and merchants,” a report said.

Likewise, the CBN presentation stated Tier 1 consumers with no existing bank accounts are to conduct daily transactions sending and receiving limit of N50,000 each and cumulative daily balance of N300, 000.

For Tier 2 consumers (those operating bank accounts), the Bankers’ Bank has pegged daily transaction for sending and receiving at N200,000 each with N500,000 cumulative balance.

The Bank also pegged daily transaction for sending and receiving for Tier 3 consumers (with existing accounts) at N1 million each and cumulative daily balance at N5 million.

Recall that Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN, had 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.

Emefiele noted the CBN takes the issue of security very seriously, stating that the e-Naira system would be treated as a National Critical Infrastructure even as the system will be subjected to comprehensive security checks prior to go-live.

Further still, Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) are expected to market and promote the adoption of e-Naira as a digital version of cash to existing and potential consumers in support of financial inclusion objective of the CBN.

The guidelines stated the DMBs will be allowed to invite all their customers to register for the eNaira.

With pre-generated codes, the banks can send invitation codes for on-boarding to a specific list of selected customers.

On-boarding, the Bank said, will be done for customers who have a code assigned by their banks. The banks have already validated and verified these customers.

The guideline also stated that the roles to be played by monetary authority, including the CBN, financial institutions, government agencies, businesses and merchants, banked and unbanked consumers as well as how the new currency would be designed and operated.

Participants in the e-Naira programme are featured in five stages, including monetary authority suite; the CBN will be handing the first product component that includes issue, distribute, redeem and destroy the currency.

Store data on a cloud server, monitor and analyse currency transactions.

Under the financial institution suite, licensed financial institution will be able to request currency or issue stable coins, manage digital currency across branches, Know Your Customer (KYC), identify and anti-money laundering compliance capability.

In the eGovernment suite, the government will be able to efficiently process digital payments sent to and received from citizens and businesses.

Meanwhile, merchants will provide low-cost payment and business management software, Point of Sale (PoS), remote payment solutions, online capabilities, transaction analysis and reconciliation.

The retail consumer suite features user-centred designs for a great user experience. The architecture will be expandable to enable innovation; features advanced privacy and security, the apex bank noted.

The CBN has also outlined transaction cost for the eNaira wallet.

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