I’ve written a previous article during the launch of the eNaira stating why it is no different from the mobile banking apps that we currently use.
And true to my assertion, the eNaira failed to interest Nigerians and the adoption rate was abysmal.
Now, the CBN is seeking to drive the adoption of the eNaira via incentives such as a 50% reduction in service charge and providing marketing materials to merchants.
I think while this move should be commended, it is not good enough to drive nationwide adoption for the eNaira.
And for all its efforts, I think the CBN should focus more on attracting the primary target users of the eNaira and not just the merchants.
In my current research of Fintech products in Nigeria, I’ve found that the reason why many Nigerians, especially millennials use different Fintech apps and wallets is because of the direct monetary incentives attached.
For example, a user could have the normal banking app for receiving and making fund transfers, a POS wallet app for their POS business, Binance app for crypto transactions, Piggyvest for savings with guaranteed ROI, Branch app for quick loans, Pocket app for eCommerce transactions, etc.
For all the CBN’s huff and puff, the eNaira offers nothing like the aforementioned apps.The value just isn’t there or isn’t clear enough.
The CBN need to offer more tangible incentives in monetary terms if they want to grow user adoption of the eNaira and make it more competitive and relevant in the Fintech space.
If the eNaira offered quick loans with low interests, or investment wallets with reasonable returns, it wouldn’t be long before users start seeing the benefits of using the eNaira alongside their usual Fintech apps.
Until then, the CBN still has a lot of work to do in order to attract real users to its eNaira.