…as transfers hit N853.7bn in 5 months
Electronic payment channels in the country remain upbeat for further growth as more Nigerians go cashless
Financial transactions through mobile phones took a great leap in the first five months of this year as it rose by 365 per cent.
The latest statistics released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) revealed that Nigerians transferred a total of N853.7 billion between January and May this year through their mobiles.
In the same period of 2019, the value of mobile transfer was N183.7 billion. The five-month mobile transfer value for this year also surpassed the value for the entire 12 months of 2019, which stood at N828 billion.
According to the NIBSS data, the volume of the mobile inter-scheme transactions also rose by 561 per cent from 6.2 million recorded in the first five months of 2019 to 41 million in the same period of 2020.
While the surge in the use of mobile transfer for payment within the last five months could also be attributed to 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 five months showed that the 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 of N169.8 billion was recorded as mobile transfers. In April and May, the value of the mobile transfer by banks’ customers stood at N172 billion and 230.2 billion respectively.
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 last five months.
For instance, an analysis of the data indicated that the value electronic bills payments (e-bills) for utility bills such as cable TV subscription, electricity bill, hotel and airline bookings, school fees and airtime top-up, increased by 86 per cent to reach N444 billion in the first five months of the year. In 2019, the value of e-bills payment stood at N238 billion. The volume of e-bills payment, however, declined to 373,652 against 530,941 recorded in the same period of 2019.
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. While the use of the platform delivers instant value to merchants, its usage by public institutions is seen as a way of fighting corruption as it reduces human interface in transactions.
Similarly, electronic payments through the Point of Sales (PoS) terminals also maintained its growth trajectory between January and May as Nigerians spent N1.6 trillion over the platform in the five months. This shows an increase of over N500 billion over N1.1 trillion recorded in the same period last year.
According to the NIBSS’ report, the volume of PoS transactions in the five months stood at 228.8 million. This also indicated a 33 per cent increase over 152.5 million deals recorded in the same period last year.
As the drive to reach 80 per cent financial inclusion target by 2020 given by the CBN intensifies, more PoS terminals are being issued for super-agent banks to extend the reach of financial services to remote areas where banking services are not available. This has led to an increase in demand for PoS machines by merchants in recent times as the NIBSS data showed that registered terminals in the country rose from 449,998 in January this year to 488,825 in May.