Less than 48 hours after its official launch by President Muhammadu Buhari, the individual wallet for eNaira has recorded more than 100,000 thousand downloads on Google Playstore alone.
Apple’s App Store does not readily show an estimate of downloads.
The Nigerian official Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) was initially scheduled for launch on October 1 but was shifted till later in the month.
eNaira is the first of its kind in Africa. According to the Atlantic Council CBDC tracker, eNaira debut made Nigeria one of the five countries in the world that have their own CBDC as the popularity of digital and cryptocurrencies continue to soar despite clampdowns in several countries.
There are two versions of the eNaira wallet – one for individuals (Speed Wallet) and another for merchants (Merchant Wallet).
“e-Naira will make a significant positive difference to Nigeria and Nigerians including supporting a resilience-payment system ecosystem, encouraging rapid financial inclusion, reducing the cost of processing cash, enabling direct and transparent welfare interventions for our citizens, increasing revenue and tax collection, facilitating diaspora remittances into Nigeria, reducing the cost of financial transactions and improving the efficiency of payment in Nigeria,” the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria Godwin Emefuele said on Monday.
However, many people that have downloaded either of the eNaira apps on Playstore are having a tough time using them.
“An app with so many flaws. Can’t go past the registration stage because the app happens to send a confirmation message to an email it never requested for. So, I didn’t get any message and couldn’t register on the platform,” one user, Mark Samuel, said in his review of Speed Wallet on Playstore.
Another person who identified himself as Colorado Akpan said: “The interface is okay, But keeps telling me Incorrect account number even after trying 3times they told me to contact support because my BVN has been used too many times.”
CBN said for people who are faced with a similar problem as Akpan, the “system will unlock you after 30 minutes.”
Another person who has downloaded the app told The Guardian he was only able to register after trying nine times. But his problem did not stop there.
“I was lucky to get a confirmation email sent to me even though it was delayed. It was shocking, however, that the confirmation email that was supposed to expire after an hour, expired in less than five minutes,” he said.
One Fajuyi Michael faulted the insistent on confirming registration on the app using the link sent to an email attached to an individual’s bank verification number (BVN).
Fajuyi said the “email address shouldn’t be a stumbling block. What if one has changed the email attached to BVN if any?”
Similar negative comments are trailing the Merchant Wallet version of the app on Play Store.
One Queen Sly, in her review of Speed Wallet on App Store, described the app as “fantastic”.
Her experience contrasted that of Kanny Ekong, who said the app rejected his account number “even when I’m sure it is correct.”
Currently, Speed has a two-star rating on Playstore with more than 2000 reviews, most of them are negative. It has 190 reviews on App Store as at 3:00am Wednesday and it is positive with a 3.3-star rating with more positive reviews.
Tech experts, however, said it is not uncommon for tech products, especially applications like the eNaira wallets, to be buggy. But it is expected that the CBN will update the apps to improve the ease of registration and use.