Data from what seems to be a new report series from the National Bureau of Statistics in collaboration with the CBN reveal that a total volume of 910 million transactions valued at N65trn was recorded on electronic payment channels last year. As expected, ATM transactions dominated with a volume of 590 million. Internet subscriptions directly correlated with electronic transactions stood at 92 million in December 2016 according to the Nigerian Communications Commission. This translates to internet penetration of 50%.
Based on data from the Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems (NIBSS), total active bank accounts in the country amounted to 65 million last year. This shows that less than half of the population is currently exposed to electronic payment transactions.
Although total active accounts experienced an 11% y/y growth in 2016 from 59 million recorded the previous year, financial inclusion is far from its optimal level. Mobile services are regarded as viable tools for providing basic financial services, particularly for unbanked Nigerians.
However, the NBS report reveals that mobile payments accounted for only 5.2% of total e-transactions in 2016.
Sources: National Bureau of Statistics (NBS); FBNQuest Research
We noticed that in Q4 2016 the volume of transactions via Point of Sale (PoS) terminals grew markedly by 34% q/q. This suggests that Nigerians are slowly but gradually embracing the cashless policy launched in 2012.
Given the increased traffic recorded on various e-payment platforms, it is safe to assume that the cashless policy has gained considerable traction within the banked economy. The policy is expected to enhance financial inclusion and reduce incidences of theft.