Value of transactions over Point of Sales (PoS) terminals across Nigeria rose to N2.3 trillion in 2018. While this came as the highest yearly value recorded since the introduction of the electronic payment system, the figure represent 64 per cent growth over N1.4 trillion transactions recorded in 2017.
The 2018 figures also showed a growing embrace of the cashless policy introduced by Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2012 as e-payment continues to gain traction in the country.
According to statistics released by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), volume of PoS transactions in the year stood at 286 million, which represented a 95.6 per cent increase compared with the figure from previous year, which stood at 146 million. Number of registered PoS machines also rose to 258, 443 from 182, 806 recorded in 2017. The data, however, revealed that only 217,283 of the registered PoS machines have been deployed so far.
Analysis of the NIBSS statistics from January to December 2018 showed that transactions worth N152 billion were carried out over PoS in January, while N144 billion was recorded in February. In March and April, N177 billion and N172 billion were recorded respectively. The data showed that Nigerians spent N189 billion over PoS terminals in May while N181 billion was recorded in June. In July, August and September, the value of transactions stood N185 billion, N204 billion and N200 billion respectively. The value of PoS Deals in October and November stood at N212.368 billion and N230 billion respectively. In December, transactions worth N271.95 billion were carried out all over the country.
Meanwhile NIBSS data revealed that Nigerians withdrew cash totalling N326.919 billion through Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) in 2018. The electronic cash withdrawal figure was us higher than that of 2017, which stood at N320.942 billion.
According to analysts, the huge growth in PoS is due to a combination of factors such as increased adoption by SMEs, chain business owners etc; increased awareness as well by cardholders, who ask for the POS from business owners when making payments; and improved dispute resolution process for failed transactions.
Explaining the factors for the growth in e-payment transactions, Chairman, Committee of E-Business Industry Heads, CeBIH, Mr. Stanley Jacob, said “the stability of the systems both at NIBSS and the partner banks has also improved the trust level of the users as they are now assured of better dispute resolution, instant reversals in cases of failures and high uptime availability.” He added that the growth in PoS usage cannot be separated from the behavioural change that was triggered by the implementation of the cashless initiative at some point. “Though the cashless implementation is yet to be stable, the customers expect that this will happen anytime soon and they are bracing up for it. Also increase in the number of bank account holders with a card and the increased investments banks have made in PoS has given the channel a boost” he said.
He also attributed the impressive growth recorded in value of PoS transactions to the expansion in the number of agents, prompted by the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facilities, SANEF, initiated by the Bankers Committee in first quarter of 2018.
While the growth of mobile money has been slow, PoS has been the main driver of the government’s cashless policy in the country. Most of the departmental stores, fuel stations and some small businesses now have POS machines and this encourage people to go for shopping with just their ATM cards.