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Blockchain technology transforming retails payment — CBN

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Ozioma Ubabukoh

The Central Bank of Nigeria says that the introduction of Blockchain technology in the global banking sector is already transforming the retail payment systems across the banks.

Blockchain is the world’s leading software platform for digital assets. Offering the largest production blockchain platform in the world, it uses a new technology to build a radical financial system.

According to the CBN, the transformation involves new guidelines on third party cheque encashment across the counter, a drive for adoption in both traditional and alternative payment channels and the utilisation of convenient platforms that emphasise the use of virtual currencies in doing payment transactions.

“Several things have happened within the last one year, which have impacted on the payments system not just in Nigeria but across the world. A major introduction into the payment mix has been the advent of Blockchain technology, which has promised to disrupt our world of payments,” the Director, Banking and Payment Systems, CBN, Dipo Fatokun, said.

He spoke at a sensitisation programme on cybersecurity, organised by the Microsoft Nigeria and Information Security Society of Africa-Nigeria, in Lagos.

Fatokun said, “As it is typical with new innovations, opportunities derived can be accompanied with challenges that can affect both adoption and usage. The jury is still out in determining how big an impact this technology will have on our payments system.

“A major driver of the change being witnessed has been the activities of Fintechs who have spearheaded a revolution in financial services, globally.

“Through cost cutting and improvement in the quality of financial service, Fintechs have now seemingly cut themselves off the apron strings of regulation, legacy Information Technology systems and branch networks.”

He added, “As exciting as all this may sound, we must once again not only recognise inherent risks but also define new information security postures required to keep the industry continuously protected and its stakeholders secure, in the light of these advancements.”

The President and Chairman, Board of Trustees of ISSAN, Dr. David Isiavwe, called on all banks and financial firms in the country to adopt blockchain technology in order to avoid future cyberattacks that could destroy their systems and render them useless.

“There is the possibility that there could be a return of the ransomeware variant, so the only way to avoid future regrets is by taking preventive measures now,” said Isiavwe, who is also a general manager at Union Bank.

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