In what will be perceived as a victory for Nigeria’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), FinTech Flutterwave announced Wednesday (Sept. 14) that merchants using its platform can now accept eNaira payments from their customers.
Flutterwave merchants can now enable the payment option on their dashboard for customer use. To complete transactions on Flutterwave, users can either scan QR codes or generate one-time tokens using the app.
As PYMNTS reported earlier this year, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has accused banks of “apathy” when it comes to the use of the eNaira. He said that only around 700,000 customers have opened an eNaira wallet since it debuted in 2021, even though there are around 55 million bank accounts in the country.
Emefiele suggested that Nigerian banks’ hesitancy comes from a perceived loss of revenue from transaction fees and the prospect of a diminished role for commercial banks in the payments ecosystem, a process known as bank disintermediation.
In light of the sluggish initial adoption of the eNaira, the CBN will likely welcome the news that one of the country’s largest payment service providers is rolling out support for the CBDC. Last month, PYMNTS reported that the CBN has set a target of 8 million eNaira wallets.
Nigeria is moving into the second phase of the eNaira project, and the CBN has made the digital currency available to people without a bank account. The news that Flutterwave will support eNaira payments creates another opportunity for the technology to gain traction with Nigerian consumers.