Electronic payment channels in the country remain upbeat for further growth as more Nigerians go cashless
- e-bills’ payment hits N1.14trn
Financial transactions through mobile phones maintained steady growth in the last 10 months as bank customers transferred a total of N2.2 trillion through their devices.
The value of the mobile transactions between January and October this year represents a 293 per cent growth over N564 billion recorded in the same period of last year.
According to the e-payment data released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS), the amount transferred over mobile in the last 10 months also surpassed the total value of mobile transfers recorded in the 12 months of 2019, which stood at N828 billion.
NIBSS data revealed that the volume of the mobile inter-scheme transactions also rose by 287 per cent from 26.2 million recorded between January and October 2019 to 101.5 million in the same period of 2020.
While the surge in the use of mobile transfer for payment within the last 10 months could also be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, which forced many to limit face-to-face transactions even before the declaration of lockdown in some states, industry analysts said the growth indicated that efforts to deepen financial inclusion by banks, fintech, and telecommunications companies are yielding positive results.
Analysis of the figures for the 10 months showed that a sum of N133.2 billion was transferred via mobile in January this year.
In February, transactions worth N148.3 billion were carried out over the mobile, while in March a total ofN169.8 billion was recorded as mobile transfers. In April, a total of N172 billion was transferred over mobile, while the figure stood at 230.2 billion in May.
The steady increase in mobile transactions continued in June as the figure hit N245.9 billion, while the highest monthly value was recorded in July at N275 billion.
In August, the value of mobile transfers stood at N253 billion while N268.8 billion was recorded in September. In October, the value of mobile transfers rose to N327.5 billion.
Meanwhile, the NIBSS data showed that electronic payments through the various platforms made available by banks and facilitated by NIBSS sustained their gains in the period under review.
For instance, the value of bills paid through the electronic channel rose to N1.14 trillion in the last 10 months. Compared with N493.36 billion recorded in the same period of last year, this represented a 132 per cent growth year-on-year.
The e-Bills Pay is an accountbased, online real-time product that facilitates the payment of bills from an account. It ensures instant credit of payments and receipt of collections on behalf of Billers/Merchant recruited on the platform.
Currently, the platform is used for payments such as utility bills, cable TV subscriptions, hotel and airline bookings, school fees, and airtime top-up.
According to NIBSS data, more Nigerians are now embracing payment of bills electronically as opposed to paying with cash. With this, the value of bills paid between January and October this year had exceeded the value recorded throughout 2019, which was N652 billion.
Aside from the drive to boost e-payments by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the commercial banks, industry analysts have attributed the geometric growth in electronic payment this year to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
While the total lockdown imposed in some states between March and April had forced many to transact businesses using the online transfer platforms, cashless transactions are being recommended globally as a means to limit contact spread of the virus.