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UBA, Access Holdings, FBNH lead in e-payment revenue

UBA, Access Holdings, FBNH lead in e-payment revenue

Out of 10 listed Nigerian banks, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Access Holdings Plc and FBN Holdings Plc led the pack in revenue from electronic banking last year, according to data compiled by BusinessDay.

In the banks’ latest financial statements, UBA reported the highest electronic banking income of N125.5 billion in 2023, up from N78.9 billion in 2022. Access Holdings raked in N101.6 billion, up from N59.6 billion.

FBN Holdings’ electronic banking income surged to N66 billion from N55 billion, while that of Zenith Bank increased to N51.8 billion from N45.7 billion.

Read also: Banks’ e-payment revenue up 39% on CBN’s cashless policy

Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) recorded an electronic banking income of N40.8 billion, up from N37.7 billion. FCMB’s electronic banking income increased to N17.6 billion from N13.9 billion.

Sterling Holdings’ electronic banking income stood at N8.5 billion, up from N7.2 billion. Wema Bank’s electronic banking income grew to N7.4 billion from N6.1 billion.

Stanbic IBTC Holdings’ electronic banking increased to N4.4 billion from N2.5 billion. Fidelity Bank’s electronic banking income increased to N3.6 billion from N2.8 billion.

Further analysis shows that the combined revenue from electronic banking of the 10 banks rose to N427 billion from N309 billion.

“The rise in electronic banking income is a factor of the amount of volume that banks have transacted with during the first half of 2023. People are doing more transactions online rather than using cash,” Tesleemah Lateef, a bank analyst at Cordros Securities Limited, said.

She said the volume of online transactions has increased because the cashless policy in the first quarter of 2023 has led to more people doing more transactions online.

“If charges remain the same and volume of transactions increase, then banks will rake in more money from electronic banking.”

Read also: Banks ramp up IT spending amid e-payment boom

In terms of the growth rate reported during the period, Stanbic IBTC Holdings recorded the highest with 76 percent, followed by Access Holdings (70.4 percent), UBA (59 percent), and Fidelity Bank (28.5 percent).

FCMB Group had 26.6 percent, Wema Bank (21.3 percent), FBN Holdings (20 percent), Sterling Bank (18 percent), Zenith Bank (13.3 percent) and GTCO (8.2 percent).

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been driving its effort to establish a cashless society with several initiatives to promote digital payments and reduce the country’s dependence on cash.

The 2012 digital payments directive, issued by the apex bank, was a significant milestone in this journey. The directive required financial institutions to increase their investment in digital payment infrastructure, promote digital payments among their customers, and work with the regulator to develop a strong regulatory framework.

As more Nigerians embraced digital financial channels, financial inclusion rose to 74 percent in 2023 from 68 percent in 2020, according to the 2023 Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access survey.

In October 2022, Godwin Emefiele, the then CBN governor, announced the naira redesign policy, which aimed to improve Nigeria’s monetary policy, promote digital alternatives like the eNaira, and enhance the currency’s integrity.

The policy has led to the expansion of various payment channels across the country. For example, according to reports the number of Automated Teller Machines rose from 11,000 in 2011 to 22,600 in 2021 where it has remained as of December 2023.

Also, the number of PoS terminals rose from around 155,000 to 1.1 million as of April 2022. And the number of active banking agents is over 1.9 million according to data from SANEF.