A total of 238.889 million payments valued at about N18.156 trillion were conducted through the electronic channels in the third quarter of this year, says the National Bureau of Statistics. These represented 17.75 per cent and 23.47 per cent increase in volume and value respectively over the records in the second quarter.
NBS made this disclosure in its report titled ‘Electronic Payment Channels in the Nigerian Banking Sector in Q3 2016’, which was obtained by THISDAY.
According to the statistics agency, the channels through which these payments were directed included cheques, Nigeria Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT), automatic teller machine (ATM), point of sale (PoS), internet (web), NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) and mobile payments.
A breakdown of the figures showed that in July, a total of 77.615 payment valued at N5.713 trillion were conducted through the electronic channels while in August and September, 82.256 million and 79.017 million payments valued at N6.922 trillion and N5.520 trillion were respectively made via the electronic channels.
Further analysis of the payment data for the third quarter showed that for cheques, 3.008 million payments valued at N1.414 trillion; NEFT-9.527 million payments valued at N5.460 trillion; ATM-157.104 million valued at N1.246 trillion; POS- 16.028 million valued at N189.947 billion; internet-3.326 million valued at N30.763 billion; mobile payments- 10.865 million valued at N223.057 billion; and NIP- 38.828 million valued at N9.591 trillion, were made.
Pursuant to its goal of ensuring financial inclusion by 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said attaining the Payment System Vision 2020 (PSV 2020) would be the catalyst to revolutionise the payment system in Nigeria. According to the CBN, achieving the PSV 2020 would help facilitate economic activities as well as boost the financial inclusion drive of the CBN.
To this end, the apex bank had in exercise of the powers conferred on it by Sections 2 (d) and 47 (2) of the CBN Act, 2007, to promote and facilitate the development of efficient and effective systems for the settlement of transactions, including the development of electronic payment systems, had issued guidelines on operations of electronic payment channels in Nigeria.
Payments through electronic channels are fast gaining traction in Nigeria. This is evident in the statistics of volume and value of transactions that have been done through the channels.
Only recently, the Head, Consumer and Digital Banking at United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr. Yinka Adedeji, noted that, over 70 per cent of financial deposits across commercial banks, were generated from various digital channels that were driven by technology solutions. He disclosed this during an interactive session in Lagos, where he listed the digital channels to include ATM, PoS, internet banking, mobile banking, among others.
Adedeji had attributed the development to innovative solutions created by banks, which was designed to drive financial inclusion in a cashless society.
He had also noted that “less than 30 per cent of generated cash across banks, come from physical cash deposits and cheque deposits”, suggesting that the cashless initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria was fast gaining acceptance both in urban and rural communities because of the convenience that technology innovations had brought to the banking sector.