Nigerians Embrace Cashless Policy as e-Payment Transactions Hit N387trn
By Adedapo Adesanya
Electronic payment transactions in Nigeria rose to N387 trillion in 2022, hitting an all-time high as more Nigerians embrace cashless payments amid plans to mop up a high volume of physical cash in the country’s financial system.
According to the data released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), the value recorded on the NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) last year was 42 per cent higher than the N272 trillion recorded in 2021.
While the e-payment data showed a steady increase throughout the 12 months of the year, the highest value was recorded in December.
During the festive period, a period associated with lots of spending activities, Nigerians transacted N42 trillion through electronic channels in December 2022. This came as the all-time high monthly record on the NIBSS electronic payment platform.
The volume of transactions processed by NIBSS for the year also jumped from 3.4 billion in 2021 to 5.1 billion in 2022, indicating a 50 per cent increase year-on-year.
This has been projected to go higher this year as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) now allows individuals to withdraw up to N500,000 weekly and organisations N5 million weekly.
In the event of compelling circumstances where cash withdrawal exceeds the limits required for legitimate purposes, such requests will attract a processing fee of 3 per cent and 5 per cent for individuals and corporate organizations, respectively.
Initially, the limit over-the-counter cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities were pegged at N100,000 and N500,000, respectively, per week.
It also said third-party cheques above N100,000 shall not be eligible for payment over the counter, while the extant limit of N10 million on clearing cheques still subsists.
“Customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels (internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS, eNaira, etc.) to conduct their banking transactions,” CBN said.
The CBN had, over the years, emphasised the cashless policy to drive the development and modernisation of our payment system in line with Nigeria’s vision 2020 goal of being among the top 20 economies by the year 2020.
It had also pushed for the policy to reduce the cost of banking services (including the cost of credit) and drive financial inclusion by providing more efficient transaction options and greater reach, as well as to improve the effectiveness of monetary policy in managing inflation and driving economic growth.