The cashless economy initiative being driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is gaining significant traction as more Nigerians begin to appreciate the benefits of electronic payments, according to the Electronic Payment Providers’ Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN).
Speaking with Information Technology (IT) journalist in Lagos, weekend, Onajite Regha, chief executive officer, E-PPAN, disclosed that two years into the take-off of the cashless initiative, the number of Point of Sales (PoS) terminals deployed by the financial sector in the country has hit 200,000. Interestingly, out of this figure, only 40 percent of them are said to be working efficiently at the moment.
The E-PPAN CEO, who quoted a Q2 report on the electronic transaction activities for the year released by the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), which is the official PoS aggregator in the country, said that PoS recorded an average volume of 591,000 transactions on a monthly basis.
According to the report, a copy of which was obtained by BusinessDay, 591, 000 PoS transactions were carried out in June alone with the transaction value standing at N11 billion. Regha, said the level of adoption of electronic payment is growing rapidly, further adding that the dearth of infrastructure was a significant challenge. “We need to sustain the enthusiasm of Nigerians as it relates to electronic payment.”
She urged telecommunications operators to improve network quality to enable more Nigerians embrace electronic payment. “E-payments rides on the backbone of telecommunications. We will continue to encourage telecoms operators to improve the support for e-payment services,” she further added. Meanwhile, EPPAN in collaboration with the CBN and ECOWAS is set to host the 4th Annual Payment Systems and Fraud Conference for West Africa 2013.
This year’s conference has been endorsed by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) and it is being sponsored by Interswitch Nigeria Limited, SecureID Limited, Diamond Bank plc and Stanbic IBTC Bank plc. The conference also has the support of Citiserve Limited and Itex Integrated Services Limited and will hold on Tuesday, 5th of November, 2013 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island Lagos.
In April and May, the PoS transaction volumes were below 500,000 with transactions value reaching N9 billion and N10 billion respectively. According to NIBS, “The cashless story is definitely a success in Lagos state with a steady growth rate in the second quarter of the year.
“PoS recorded an average volume of 591,000 transactions on a monthly basis while the value of transactions also increased as the confidence level of customers in the payment device increased.” NIBSS also predicts that the trend would likely continue once Value Added Services (VAS) are deployed on PoS terminals and merchants earn incentives from accepting payments on the terminals.
Till date, the number of PoS already deployed in the country has reached a whopping 200,000, surpassing its projection by the CBN.
Also, the report shows that the NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) has grown steadily since inception. NIP recorded an average volume of 1.13 million and transaction value of N761 billion on a monthly basis during this period.
By: Ben Uzor Jr