The total value of transactions effected via the electronic fund transfer (ETF) grew 50 per cent to N158.1 trillion in 2020 from N105.2 trillion recorded in 2019 while there was a 77 per cent surge in the total volume of transaction to 2.03 trillion in 2020 from 1.15 billion recorded in the previous year. A recent data accessed by business a.m from the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) revealed.
With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic which has forever changed Nigeria’s e-Payments landscape has brought about acceleration in the adoption of instant payments as the population transitioned to electronic channels for funds exchange in the wake of Government imposed lockdowns during the year 2020.
According to the statistics published by NIBSS on Monday on its website also showed that during the year, 52.4 million unique customers received funds via the instant payment transaction based on the bank verification number (BVN) from 45.5 million in 2019 while those not based on BVN amounted to 60.6 million customers from 46.9 million. Also, the total number of customers who carried out instant transactions based on BVN rose to 31.2 million in 2020 as a result of the lockdowns from 27.1 million while those without the use of the BVN stood at 35.4 million from 29.4 million.
On a breakdown of the transactions via several channels, the NIBSS data pointed that total transaction via the Point of Sales (PoS) terminal were valued at N4.73 trillion in 2020 amid the pandemic and recording a spike by 48 per cent from N3.2 trillion in the previous year with a total 50 per cent year on year growth to 655.7 million transaction volumes from N438.6 million in the year 2019. A cursory analysis shows that the transaction channels via the mobile remain the preferred channel with 43 per cent of total transactions to 933.66 million from 506.16 million, while USSD remains a close second with 35.2 per cent of transactions in 2020 to 762.19 million from 422.7 million in 2019 even as these remained largely unchanged from 2019 and indicating that 78 per cent of total transfer transactions were carried out using a mobile device.
Furthermore, a momentous spike was observed in the area of 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 such as the banking halls, ATM points and other POS points as well as the branch closures experienced in key commercial hubs in the wake of the pandemic. However, mobile payments and the Unstructured Supplementary Subscribers data (USSD) continued to experience steady growth, growing by 84 per cent and 80 per cent respectively year on year. Thus, with approximately 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.
Elsewhere, Lagos state leads the pack with over 29 per cent of the total volume of transactions initiated across the 36 states including the federal capital territory to 561.5 million from 339 million in the previous year and followed by the FCT with 124.4 million transactions while Jigawa (6.35m), Zamfara (7.35m), Yobe (7.45m), Kebbi (7.67m) and Ebonyi (8.93m) were among the bottom 5 locations by transaction volume.
The PoS count by location places Lagos, FCT and Rivers states on the map as the top 5 location by Points of Sales transaction by volume during the year 2020 as Lagos accounted for over 69 per cent and 453.61 million transactions; this was followed religiously by the FCT 32.29 million or 4.9 per cent of the total transactions via the POS points with Rivers state accounting for a total of 4.9 per cent or 31.01 million PoS station transactions. On the other hand, Nigerian northern states such as Taraba, Sokoto, Zamfara, Yobe and Kebbi states accounted for the bottom 6 states with the lowest transactions on a state level with 348,612; 338,964; 210,069; 118,609; and 98,021 respectively.