The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said electronic payment channels so far are recording enormous growth with total transfers on the platform grossing N10.85 trillion in 2013.
Electronic payments channels according to the CBN have been broadened with several options as online web payments, electronic funds transfer, various forms of cards, POS, ATM non-cash transactions etc. As an instance, the Nigerian inter-Bank Settlement System 9NIBSS) Instant Payments (NIP) used for online transfers has grown at an annual growth rate of 199 % and 190% in volume and value respectively.
Dipo Fatokun, Director, Banking and Payment Department, CBN said the development goes beyond electronic payments growth; even jobs have been created with over 21 MMOs licensed with each employing not less than 20 staff along with about 66,930 agents. Electronic payments companies both indigenous and foreign have come into the market with positive impact on investment and employment.
Fatokun who delivered a key note address on “Electronic Payments in Nigeria: Past, Present and the Future’, mandated all banks to comply with requirements for highly secured online payments platform by implementing cutting edge electronic banking security solutions including but not limited to the implementation of hardware tokens, behavioural monitoring, SMS/Email transaction alert, and anti-phishing solutions.
He noted that the CBN in collaboration with the Bankers Committee is implementing an industry-wide anti-fraud system to manage risks, minimize fraud and respond promptly and adequately to emerging fraud trends.
“We are however exploring other options such as our project with NIGCOMSAT to leverage the satellite technology for improvement of connectivity for our various payments channels. We also encourage our service providers to deploy resilient technologies suited for our environment such as POS with multi-sim ports and enhanced battery life”, he said.
The CBN director disclosed that the Apex bank will focus on creating a future with pervasive electronic payments usage through the implementation of additional initiatives in certain sectors such as agriculture, hotels and entertainment, transport, education and health. We hope to develop a cashless model for smart cities.
“We will target existing as well as greenfield cities such as Eko Atlantic in Lagos and the Centenary City in Abuja to ensure that less cash is used for payments at retail outlets, for transportation and other services”.