The Benefit of E-naira to Unbanked Nigerians
Objective of the Study
The broad objective is to examine the benefits of e-naira for unbanked Nigerians. Specifically, the study seeks to:
- Ascertain the features of eNaira as introduced by CBN
- Examine if eNiara usage will enhance the payment system of rural individual subscribers.
- Determine if the invention of eNaira will be of great benefit to unbanked Nigeria.
Overview of electronic or digital currency
Fiat currency is issued by the government through its national bank (apex bank) as fiat money (for example, paper notes), while electronic money (e-money) or digital currency is the same currency digitally (fiat digital currency) (Ozili, 2021; Arias & Sánchez, 2016). Digital currency operates like fiat currency in the payment of goods and services over the Internet. Over the years, digital or electronic currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple Price, Dogecoin, and many others have increased in popularity and acceptance (Abiodun, 2021). Originally, Bitcoin was initiated in 2008 and began operation in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto (Didenko & Buckley, 2018; Bissessar, 2016). Since then, many others have emerged, and the acceptance has kept growing locally and internationally. The growth and large acceptance of cryptocurrencies are attributed to the success stories of those who made a huge amount of money within a short and long period on their investment. Furthermore, the success of cryptocurrencies is seen in its decentralized nature, which means that anyone can participate (trade) from any country without exclusion. Central banks (apex banks) and governments worldwide are busy monitoring the advancement of digital currencies and their challenges (Said, 2019). Their monitoring is resulting in many central banks introducing digital currencies like in the case of eNaira. eNaira is a digital currency operated by the Nigerian government through its CBN. Governments run digital currency through central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in making Internet transactions easier. Nigeria is the first African to introduce a digital currency called eNaira (Ozili, 2021). According to Abiodun (2021), CBDCs are the digital currencies operated by the government to offer digital currencies, for example, eNaira. However, these digital currencies, including eNaira, have some opportunities and challenges for the apex bank and the customers.
The operations and characterization of eNaira
Every digital or electronic currency (eNaira) presents opportunities and challenges for traders, especially the informal sectors. eNaira is a digital currency equivalent to fiat Naira (physical or printed Naira notes). Again, eNaira is Naira in a digital form that can only be used on the Internet, without physical notes. eNaira is issued by CBN through the backing of the Federal Government of Nigeria. According to Timi-Koleolu and Aroh (2021), customers (Nigerians) can purchase eNaira through Financial Institutions (FI) and transfer to their ewallets (eNaira Speed Wallet) account. It means that FI can convert normal money in the customer’s bank account into an eNaira wallet, allowing customers to make online transactions easier for individuals and entrepreneurs. Most entrepreneurs in Nigeria are in the informal (unstructured) economy sector, which made cryptocurrency thrive because crypto is unregulated (unstructured). In the same vein, the eNaira can succeed amongst the informal sector if the implementation is unstructured. According to Adiodun (2021) and Olisah (2021), eNaira has some great objectives: increasing financial inclusion, improving revenue and tax collection, improving payment efficiency, improving social interventions, and many others. These objectives are untested in reality. However, CBN, tackling different challenges presented below (eNaira challenges) is key in the implementation and operation of eNaira. Though eNaira will operate like the traditional Naira notes, the value and supported by Naira (Abiodun, 2021). Moreover, the eNaira wallet will be operated in four tiers (Timi-Koleolu & Aroh, 2021; eNaira, n.d):
This chapter details the methodology adopted in the study. Section 3.2 describes the research design, Section 3.3 is divided into 3.3.1 which describes the target population and 3.3.2 which describes sample, Section 3.4 is data and data collection, and Section 3.5 provides conceptual model and the analytical model of the study.
According to Ngechu (2006), a research design is a plan showing how the problem under investigation will be solved. The design selects methods to be used to answer the research questions and solve the research problem. A descriptive design was adopted to study and analyze the variables. A cross sectional and correlation quantitative analysis was also adopted to evaluate the acceptance of e-naira.
A correlation approach was used to establish the relationships amongst variables. Regression analysis was also used to determine the predictive power of the independent variables on the dependent variable.
The Study Population and Sample
This section described the study population and sample.
This chapter presents findings of the study according to the objectives of the study. Section 4.2 describes summary of statistics, Section 3 describes inferential statistics, and Section 4.4 describes discussion of findings.
Summary of Statistics
Response Rate of E-naira Users
The study was conducted on a sample of 120 respondents. Out of the sample size, 105 returned duly filled in questionnaires making a response rate of 91% as shown in Figure 4.1
Figure 4.1: Response Rate of E-naira Users
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
This chapter presents summary and conclusions of the findings. Section 5.2 describes summary of the study, Section 5.3 describes conclusions, Section 5.4 presents recommendations, and Section 5.5 describes suggestions for further study.
Summary of the Study
The study found that most of e-naira users use their e-naira for paying bills, cash withdrawal and buy airtime. It found that e-naira users think interaction with e-naira does not require a lot of mental effort and that it is easy to use and learn how to use e-naira system. The results also revealed that perceived ease of use is positively related to acceptance of e-naira services having a correlation coefficient of 0.615. This implies that the easier the e-naira services can be used without any disturbances the more users will be willing to use it for their financial needs.
The study found that e-naira in overall is advantageous, banks are trustworthy and that they would not feel totally safe providing personal privacy Information over e-naira. The results revealed that perceived usefulness is positively related to acceptance of e-naira services having a correlation coefficient of 0.527. This implies that the more users feel that the e-naira system is useful, the higher their acceptance level.
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