●E-bills payments hit N1.5trn
More bank customers in Nigeria embraced the use of mobile phones for financial transactions last year as a total of N3.05 trillion was transferred through the platform. Hitting an all-time high, this represents a whopping 268 per cent increase over N828 billion mobile deals recorded in 2019. According to the e-payment data released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS), the volume of the mobile inter-scheme transactions also rose significantly in the year under review. From 41.2 million transactions recorded in the previous years, mobile deals rose to 132.9 million in 2020.
This represents a 223 per cent increase year-on-year. While the surge in the use of the mobile platform for financial transactions 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 were yielding positive results.
Analysis of the monthly transactions for the year showed that the sum of N133.2 billion was transferred via mobile in January 2020. 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 the platform, while the figure stood at 230.2 billion in May. The steady increase in mobile transactions continued in June as the figure N245.9 billion, while N275 billion was recorded in July. 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. The value of the mobile transactions also increased in November as deals totalling N366.17 billion were recorded.
Reflecting the increased spending activities that usually mark the yuletide period, December transactions came as the highest as the value of mobile transfers in the month stood at N459.76 billion. Similarly, 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. Specifically, the value of bills paid through the electronic channel rose to N1.5 trillion in 2020. Compared with N652.6 billion recorded in 2019, this represented a 127.9 per cent growth year-on-year.
The e-Bills Pay is an account-based, 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. Meanwhile, the value of Point of Sales (PoS) deals in 2020 hit an all-time high of N4.7 trillion.
This shows a 46 per cent increase over the N3.2 trillion value recorded in 2019. A breakdown of the monthly value of PoS transactions in the country shows that in January 2020, N313.43 billion worth of transactions were carried out over the PoS, an amount that is 41 per cent higher than the N222.92 billion recorded in January 2019. In February 2020, the value grew by 69 per cent from N193.43 billion in 2019 to N326.03 billion. In March 2020, N368.86 billion worth of transactions were conducted, an amount which is 70 per cent higher than the N217.46 billion recorded in the same month of 2019.
By April, the value of transactions declined slightly to N272 billion, this was, however, higher than the N246 billion recorded in April 2019 by 11 per cent. In May, transactions valued at N358 billion was recorded, a 39 per cent growth over N257.7 billion recorded in the same period of 2019. The value of PoS transaction s in June stood at N364.7 billion, which was 48 per cent higher than the N245.9 billion recorded in June 2019.
In July, the value jumped to N416.7 billion, a 49 per cent growth over N279.5 billion recorded in the same period of the preceding year. August transactions value stood at N386.4 billion, which was 31 per cent higher than N294 billion recorded in August 2019. In September, transaction value rose to N404.9 billion, an increase of 42.8 per cent over N283.4 billion recorded in the previous year. By October, the figure rose to N460.9 billion, a 60 per cent growth over N287.8 billion recorded in the same month of 2019.