Cashless transactions grew by 44 per cent year-on-year to hit N117.33tn in the first four months of 2022, according to data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).
From January 2022 to April 2022, N117.33tn was processed through electronic channels, which is N35.79tn more than N81.54tn that was processed in the corresponding period of 2021.
Cashless transactions are monitored on the NIBSS through the Nigeria Instant Payment System and Point of Sales terminals.
In January 2022, N27.22tn was processed electronically in the nation, this increased to N27.76tn in February, N32.52tn in March, and N29.84tn in April 2022. In January 2021, N18.99tn was processed electronically, N18.79tn was processed in February, N22.55tn was processed in March, and N21.19tn was processed in April.
Electronic channels were used 1.88 trillion times in the first four months of 2022, a 44.26 per cent increase from the 1.3 trillion times they were used in the corresponding period of 2021. This sustains the growth that was witnessed in electronic payment after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NIBSS in a report titled ‘Instant Payments – 2020 Annual Statistics’, said COVID had changed the e-payments landscape and hastened the adoption of instant payments as people switch to electronic channels for funds exchange.
In the preface of a document titled, ‘Why The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) made the Cash-less Policy,’ the CBN said Nigeria disclosed at the time that there was a need to help Nigerians migrate from a cash-based economy to an electronic-driven economy.
The apex bank said, “Our economy uses too much cash for transactions for goods and services, especially for buying and selling.
“This is not how it is done in other progressive countries of the world where there are other payment options like; debit and credit cards, bank transfers, bank direct debits, Automated Teller Machines, and even mobile phone money. These achievements have been brought about by the changing needs of their people, competition among banks, and other companies, including changes in technology. Our major focus is to increase the volume of all available payment instruments in Nigeria.”
Recent figures from the NIBSS indicate a gradual shift towards an electronic-driven economy.
Commenting on the surge in electronic payment, the Head, Corporate Communications, NIBBS, Lilian Phido, said, “It is very clear that more and more people are accepting the available channels of payment and the platforms are stable. With stability, these components have grown. With stability more and more people moving.”
Analysts believe the ease cashless transactions have brought to banking has made more people adopt electronic transfers.