By Victor Akindele
The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) has said that Lagos accounted for 30 per cent of all electronic payment transactions carried out in Nigeria last year. With this, it described the State as the hub of e-payment in Nigeria as other states were far behind in terms of the percentage of transactions.
NIBSS in its 2020 Instant Payments Statistics, disclosed that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, came a distant second as it accounted for seven (7) per cent of e-payment transaction volume in the country. Other leading states that shared the top five spots include Ogun, Rivers, and Oyo, accounting for six, six, and five per cent of electronic transactions in that order.
While noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the ePayments landscape, NIBSS said the pandemic accelerated the adoption of instant payments as the population transitioned to electronic channels for funds exchange in the wake of government-imposed lockdowns.
“On transaction channels, mobile remains the preferred channel with 43 per cent of total transactions, while USSD remains a close second with 35 per cent of transactions. These remain largely unchanged from 2019. This indicates that 78 per cent of total transfer transactions were carried out using a mobile device.
“Additionally, a significant spike was observed for Internet Banking transactions, as they grew to 10 per cent of the total transactions. This can be attributed to the move away from physical channels, and the branch closures experienced in key commercial hubs in the wake of the pandemic,” it said.
NIBSS added that mobile payments and USSD continued to experience steady growth, growing by 84 per cent and 80 per cent respectively Year-on-Year. “With 49.5 per cent smartphone ownership and an estimated 97 million mobile internet users, there are strong indicators that mobile and USSD payments will see significant growth in the short-medium term,” the company stated.
Data released earlier by NIBSS attested to the growth in the use of mobile for financial transactions in Nigeria. According to the 2020 figure, a total of N3.05 trillion was transferred through mobile last year. Hitting an all-time, this represents a whopping 268 per cent increase over N828 billion mobile deals recorded in 2019. The volume of the mobile inter-scheme transactions also rose significantly in the year. From 41.2 million transactions recorded in the previous year, mobile deals rose to 132.9 million in 2020. This represents a 223 per cent increase year-on-year.