The value of electronic payments increased by 39.7 percent to N99.3 trillion in 2017 from N71.1 trillion in 2016, according to Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) 2017 Annual Draft Report released today.
“The rise is attributed to increased consumer awareness and confidence in e-payment channels,” the report stated.
Also the volume of electronic payments rose by 60 percent to 1.4 billion in 2017 from 941.8 million in 2016.
According to analysts, the increment is due to the adaptation of technology and CBN’s plan to increase financial inclusion.
Ayo Akinwunmi, Head of Research, FSDH Merchant Bank said, “This shows that there is an increased adaptation of technology to drive payments and financial transaction in Nigeria which is more to reach the unbanked people. Banks consider it a more effective way to carry out transactions and it is also more convenient for customers. So from both sides it’s a win win.”
“We now have technology making businesses better and easier. It is also in line with CBN’s plan to drive financial inclusion in the country. The use of mobile phones by people in the rural areas and urban cities to make transactions, improvement in internet services across the country and data availability has actually increase investments in those areas to ensure that we have a reliable telecommunication system to support the banks payment systems,”
“And again CBN has also licensed other operators in the industry to aid this. So convenience for the consumers and the efficiency driving down the cost price of the operators makes this possible. So I think the e-payment transactions will continue to grow,”Akinwunmi concluded
The use of electronic payment systems provide a lot of benefits to its users but despite these, the Nigeria economy is still regarded as cash-based where majority of its people prefer to carryout daily transactions with cash
In 2017, the CBN assured the country that it would work aggressively towards increasing financial inclusion rate to 80 per cent, by cutting down the number of people excluded from the financial system to 20 per cent in the next three years (2020).
Data from the World Bank on for 2017 show that Nigeria receded in financial inclusion between 2014 and 2017 and the percentage of banked adults dropped nearly 4 percentage points to 39 percent, while the sub-Saharan Africa average increased more than 8 percentage points to 43 percent.