Clickatell (https://www.Clickatell.com), a CPaaS innovator and chat commerce leader, has partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) (https://www.CBN.gov.ng) to provide fast, simple, and cost-effective eNaira banking services for all Nigerians using the USSD channel, eliminating the need for data and available on all handsets.
Clickatell has collaborated with the CBN to launch a USSD channel for its central bank digital currency eNaira (CBDC) (www.eNaira.gov.ng) as part of the country’s drive to make basic banking services accessible to all Nigerians, thereby promoting financial inclusion.
eNaira was launched in October 2021 when Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Africa’s first central bank-backed digital currency would help boost remittances, foster cross-border trade and help his government. easier to make social assistance payments. With financial inclusion being at the core of eNaira’s goals, President Buhari also said that he believes the CBDC will increase the country’s GDP by $29 billion over the next 10 years.
“The introduction of the USSD short code enables unbanked Nigerians, many of whom do not have smartphones, to access cashless banking services and is a major victory for the stated goals of providing meaningful financial inclusion. of Clickatell to make this a reality has been one of the most significant achievements of our engagements in Nigeria,” comments Uzo Nwani, Clickatell Commercial Director, West Africa.
The new USSD channel allows Nigerians using the short code *997# to create their eNaira wallet. Once done, they can easily check balances and transfer funds, as well as securely purchase airtime or data for themselves, friends and family. Backing up their wallets is also easy on the channel, and users can check and update their information, change and reset their PIN, and even block the wallet if needed.
“The USSD channel is an essential part of our journey towards achieving our vision of financial inclusion. We see eNaira as a leap forward in the evolution of money. As such, CBN is working with partners who are committed to leveraging this new technology for continued innovation to deliver exciting new features,” comments CBN Deputy Governor of Economic Policy, Dr. Kingsley Obiora.
Unstructured Supplementary Service Data or USSD is a communication protocol supported by 99% of GSM handsets. It remains particularly relevant in developing communities where it is used to provide services at much lower cost and can be used without requiring access to the user’s SIM card.
Despite the rapid growth of smartphones, the majority of Nigerians (https://bit.ly/2HRLANU) currently use feature phones, which makes a great argument for the USSD offer. The CBN is counting on the new channel to make rapid inroads to bring most of the 30% of unbanked Nigerians into the formal banking system.
As part of its efforts, the CBN is working hard to build awareness and education around the new digital currency and has offered an incentive of 200eNGN of airtime to the first 100,000 users to use the eNaira USSD feature. .
Looking ahead, Nwani says the Clickatell solution ideally positions the system for new and collaborative additions to strengthen eNaira services.
“Our Chat Flow product provides a robust platform to support rapid innovation. Digital currencies offer measurable benefits to customers, including reduced costs and a simple user experience. Adding new innovative features over time will definitely attract more customers. There is no doubt that the CBN has set the benchmark for financial inclusion in Africa, and we look forward to being part of that journey,” said Nwani.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Clickatell.
Clickatell is the global leader in chat commerce that enables businesses to connect, interact and transact with consumers anytime, anywhere in chat. The feature-rich, low/no-code chat commerce platform sits at the intersection of communications (CPaaS, CCaaS) and commerce (digital payments). Clickatell serves more than 10,000 customers, including Fortune 50 brands. Clickatell is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, and has offices in Canada, South Africa, and Nigeria. Learn more at www.clickatell.com.
eNaira is a digital currency issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria that provides a unique form of currency denominated in Naira. eNaira serves as both a medium of exchange and a store of value, offering better prospects for payment in retail transactions compared to cash payments.
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