The cashless drive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) appears to be yielding dividends as electronic or e-payment has continued to gain traction in the country as more and more Nigerians have embraced financial transactions via their mobile devices.
Last year, bank customers transferred a total of N8.06 trillion over mobile devices, representing a-164 per cent growth over N3.05 trillion recorded the year before.
During the same period, commercial banks processed a total of cheques valued at N3.2 trillion. According to Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS) data, this represents a marginal decline of three per cent compared with N3.3 trillion recorded in the year before (2020).
The N3.05 trillion recorded in 2020 came as the all-time high annual figure. However, with the 2021 record, the stake has been raised higher as more Nigerians are leveraging the mobile as platform of choice for their financial transactions.
According to the NIBSS data, the volume of mobile inter-scheme transactions also rose by 113 per cent from 13.3 million recorded in 2020 to 28.4 million in 2021.
The data also showed that bank customers withdrew a total of N1.4 trillion via Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) last year compared to N656 billion recorded in 2020. This showed that there was a 113 per cent increase in cash withdrawal from ATMs last year.
However, with the rapid spread of agent banking across the country, more bank customers are patronising Point of Sales (PoS) agents for cash withdrawal than ATMs. This has led to steady growth in PoS transactions over the years.
The data showed that the financial system lost a total of N5.2 billion to fraudsters in nine months, adding that the fraudsters initiated attacks 46,126 times and were successful on 41,979 occasions, representing 91 per cent.
Analysis of the value of the transactions for the year showed that N390.5 billion was transferred via mobile in January this year. In February, transactions valued at N407.8 billion were done over the mobile, while in March N480.9 billion was recorded as mobile transfers.
April recorded a total of N502.7 billion transfer by customers across the country while the figure rose to N526.9 billion in May. The data showed that a total of N603 billion was transferred via mobile in June.
In July, mobile transactions valued at N665 billion were recorded, while the monthly figure of transfers rose to N719 billion in August. The transfer value for September stood at N771 billion, while N840 billion was recorded in October.
In November, the figure rose to N957 billion, while the highest monthly deals were recorded in December at N1.2 trillion
Similarly, the NIBSS data revealed that the value of bills paid through e-channels rose to N2.3 trillion in 2021. Compared with N1.5 trillion recorded in 2020, this represents a 53 per cent increase.
The volume of e-bills also jumped from 132.9 million in 2020 to 284.5 million in 2021.
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.