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Cheque transactions plunge to N2.6trn in 10 months

…as PoS deals hit N3.67trn

Value of cheque transactions across the country plunged to N2.6 trillion in the last 10 months, New Telegraph has learnt. The figure represents a 29.7 per cent decline yearon- year compared with N3.7 trillion recorded in the same period last year as the downturn in the use of the paperbased channel continued. According to data released by Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), the value was derived from a total of 3.9 million separate deals, which again was a decline from the volume recorded in the same period of last year, which stood at 6.6 million.

On annual basis, the value of cheque transactions has been on a steady decline to hit an all-time low of N5 trillion in 2018, from an alltime high of N17.8 trillion recorded in 2009. The decline is attributed to the growing preference for electronic payment channels, which are considered faster than cheques.

While cheque transactions valued at N4.4 trillion was recorded last year, a decline from N5.03 trillion recorded in 2018, the country is bound to record the lowest value in cheque deals this year. The downtrend for this year, analysts said, will be worsened by the one-month suspension of cheque transactions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during the COVID-19 lockdown.

On the other hand, electronic platforms such as Point of Sales (PoS), Mobile Transfer, NIBSS Instant payment, and E-Bills Payment, among others, continue to record increases in volume and value of transactions on a monthly basis. According to the NIBSS data, the value of PoS deals for the 10 months hit an all-time high of N3.67 trillion. With the increasing embrace of the electronic payment platform, the 10 months transaction value had surpassed the N2.8 trillion recorded in the full-year 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 which 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 last year. The value of PoS transactions 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 last year. In July, PoS deals valued at N416.7 billion were recorded, a 49 per cent growth over N279.5 billion recorded in the same period last year.

August transactions’ value stood at N386.4 bil-lion, 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 last year. In terms of volume, the number of transactions also increased from 350 million recorded in the 10 months of last year to 509 million in the same period in 2020, which again, was higher than the 392.5 million volume recorded in the entire 2019.

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