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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.

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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.

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Consumer Wallets

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

Zero charges

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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.

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The zero charges also apply when users send money from their wallets to bank accounts and make withdrawals at agent or merchant locations.

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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.

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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.”

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