Clickatell has collaborated with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to launch a USSD channel for its central bank digital currency eNaira (CBDC).
With the introduction of the USSD code, users who do not have smartphones can access banking services as provided by the eNaira platform.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Clickatell is a CPaaS innovator and Chat Commerce leader whose partnership with the CBN seeks to offer fast and simple services and cost-effective eNaira banking services for all Nigerians using the USSD channel, eliminating the need for data and available on all phones.
“The introduction of the USSD short code allows 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.
Clickatell’s role in making this a reality has been one of the most significant achievements of our engagements in Nigeria,” comments Uzo Nwani, Clickatell’s Commercial Director, West Africa.
Commenting on the partnership, the CBN Deputy Governor for Economic Policy, Dr. Kingsley Obiora stated that the USSD feature would accelerate the CBN’s drive for financial inclusion.
“The USSD channel is a vital part of our journey towards realizing our vision of financial inclusion.
“We see eNaira as a leap forward in the evolution of money.
“Therefore, CBN is working with partners who are committed to leveraging this new technology for continued innovation and to deliver exciting new features,”
“The CBN is counting on the new channel to make rapid strides in bringing most of the 30% of unbanked Nigerians into the formal banking system.
“As part of its efforts, CBN is working hard to increase awareness and education around the new digital currency and has offered an incentive of 200 eNGN airtime for the first 100,000 users to use the eNaira USSD feature,” NAN reports.
Launched in October 2021, eNaira which is the first central bank-backed digital currency in Africa seeks to enhance financial inclusion, especially for the unbanked.
The new USSD channel allows users to create their wallets, transfer funds, purchase data, and airtime as well as check their balances.
*997# is the shortcode to be used in accessing these services.
The channel also allows for wallet locking, pin change as well as updating user information.