Nigeria’s cashless economy still a millennial party
Millennials in Nigeria are firmly in the driving seat in terms of the volume of transactions via electronic channels in the country. This is as Baby Boomers and Gen Z continues to play catch up.
In 2020, the demographic born between 1981 and 1996 accounted for more than half of the total transactions on electronic channels, according to the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) latest report.
Millennials who are now between the ages of 25 and 40 made over 600 million electronic transactions representing over 36 percent of all transactions in 2020. Gen Z which are mostly between the ages of 15-24 saw an adoption increase of 12 percent.
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“On a larger scale, 79 percent of instant payment transactions in 2020 were initiated by customers between 15-44 years. This demographic are those likely to adopt electronic payments and are also representative of the Nigerian population distribution, which is heavily skewed towards the younger age brackets,” the NIBSS report noted.
This means that millennials and Gen Zs are mainly in control of Nigeria’s digital economy. This realisation has seen many consumer-facing companies implementing strategies to make sure they are in line with the needs of these digital generations.
A report by Nielson described the Gen Zs and millennials as the biggest consumer group in the world. This is no doubt the case in Nigeria where they consume the most digital services.
Millennials are already the bulk of the working class in Nigeria and therefore for has more disposable income than Gen Zs and boomers. This is why they are the natural targets for most e-commerce and online retail platforms in Nigeria.
They are also the fastest to own tech gadgets and thus account for the majority of Nigeria’s smartphone population at 49.5 penetration.
Transactions through smartphones was the biggest in 2020 according to NIBSS. This category accounted for as much as 42.6 percent at 506.16 million of the total transaction in 2019 and it increased to 43.1 percent at 933 million in 2020. This was followed by USSD which received 35.6 percent of the total volume in 2019 and rose to 35.2 percent at 762.10 percent in 2020.