Banking customers in Nigeria transacted about N10 trillion deals on their electronic fund transfers platforms within the first two months of this year. This is according to the latest industry epayment data released by the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlements System Plc (NIBSS).
The N10 trillion transactions were carried out only on two major platforms, which are accessible to banking customers either on the mobile devices or on other Internet-enabled devices. The two platforms are the NIBSS Electronic Fund Transfers (NEFT) and the National Instant Payment (NIP).
According to the data, in January and February this year, Nigerians transferred N4.087 trillion and N4.337 trillion respectively on NIP. On NEFT platform, transaction values of N1.003 trillion and N907 billion were made in January and February respectively. In January and February last year, the value of transactions on the two platforms was N6.735 trillion.
This year’s transactions value for the two months thus represents a 30 per cent year-on-year growth over last year’s deals during the same period. Commenting on the traction being recorded in the e-payment sector, Chief Executive Officer, NIBSS, Mr. Ade Shonubi, said the increase in NEFT and NIP usage and the volume of transactions done monthly reveals a major progress being recorded in the country’s e-payment industry. “NEFT is an irrevocable fund transfer instruction where a bank simply captures their customer’s funds transfer instructions electronically.
However, the bank will first debit the customer’s account to ensure that the funds are set aside, after which such a bank customer’s instruction, along with other customers’ instructions, are sent to NIBSS as an electronic file for onward processing,” he said. Unlike NEFT, Shonubi said NIP was, so far, the most innovative and revolutionary e-payment solution designed by NIBSS to service the banking industry.
He said: “NIP is the first and only point-to-point funds transfer service that guarantees instant value to the beneficiary. Nigeria is the only country in Africa and essentially, the world to have deployed such a solution.
The service is majorly offered via bank’s Internet banking, mobile and bank branch platforms for corporates and individuals as well as through the banks’ branch network. NIP is an on-line real-time bank account numbers based Inter-bank credit transfer.”
Meanwhile, industry experts have said there appears to be growing confidence in the use of electronic payment platforms for transaction, given growth witnessed on NEFT and NIP platforms.
Though e-fraud is a global phenomenon, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been working with the Bankers’ Committee to reduce the incidences of e-frauds in order to raise consumer confidence in the system.
“Globally, fraud is on the rise as well as its sophistication,” Shonubi said while acknowledging that e-fraud is a battle that stakeholders must wage together to boost consumers’ confidence in embracing e-payment options rather than cash-based transactions in the country’s current cashless economy.
He underscored the role of increased collaboration and public awareness towards reducing the rate at which people fall victims of e-fraud, saying, “collaboration among stakeholders to combat e-fraud will boost further e-payment adoption.”
Reports by NIBSS showed that Nigerian banks lost an estimated N6.2 billion to cases of electronic frauds in 2014. The figure reduced to about N4 billion in 2015, according to NIBSS report.
Executive Secretary, e- Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (e-PPAN), Mrs. Regha Onajite, whose team recently commenced a new cashless campaign exercise across states on behalf of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said: “Despite the great advantage that e-payment brings to us as a country, hiccupped by the issue of electronic fraud, more people are now having confidence in the system and are adopting electronic payment platforms as efficient ways to do payments and make cashless purchase.”