The value of cheque transactions across the country plunged to N3.6 trillion in 2020, New Telegraph has learnt.
This represents a 26.6 per cent decline year-on-year compared with N4.5 trillion recorded in 2019 as the downturn in the use of the paper-based channel continued.
According to data released by Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), the value was derived from a total of 4.9 million separate deals, which again was a 37 per cent decline from the 7.8 million volume of transactions recorded in the previous year.
On annual basis, the value of cheque transactions has been on a steady decline from an all-time high of N17.8 trillion recorded in 2009.
According to the NIBSS data, from N5.4 trillion recorded in 2017, the value of cheque deals came down to N5.03 trillion in 2018. By 2019, it had declined further to N4.5 trillion and in 2020 the figure went down by almost N1 trillion.
Industry analysts said the 2020 record was worsened by the one-month suspension of cheque transactions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during the COVID-19 lockdown. Meanwhile, electronic platforms such as Point of Sales (PoS), Mobile Transfer, NIBSS Instant payment, E-Bills Payment, among others, continue to record increases in volume and value of transactions on a monthly basis.
According to the NIBSS data, the value of Point of Sales (PoS) deals in 2020 hit an all-time high of N4.7 trillion. This shows a 46 per cent increase over the N3.2 trillion value recorded in 2019.
A breakdown of the monthly value of PoS transactions in the country shows that in January 2020, N313.43 billion worth of transactions were carried out over the PoS, an amount which is 41 per cent higher than the N222.92 billion recorded in January 2019. In February 2020, the value grew by 69 per cent from N193.43 billion in 2019 to N326.03 billion.
In March 2020, N368.86 billion worth of transactions were conducted, an amount, which is 70 per cent higher than the N217.46 billion recorded in the same month of 2019.
By April, the value of transactions declined slightly to N272 billion, this was, however, higher than the N246 billion recorded in April 2019 by 11 per cent. In May, transactions valued at N358 billion was recorded, a 39 per cent growth over N257.7 billion recorded in the same period of 2019.
The value of PoS transactions in June stood at N364.7 billion, which was 48 per cent higher than the N245.9 billion recorded in June 2019. In July, the value jumped to N416.7 billion, a 49 per cent growth over N279.5 billion recorded in the same period of the preceding year.
August transactions value stood at N386.4 billion, which was 31 per cent higher than N294 billion recorded in August 2019. In September, transaction value rose to N404.9 billion, an increase of 42.8 per cent over N283.4 billion recorded in the previous year.
By October, the figure rose to N460.9 billion, a 60 per cent growth over N287.8 billion recorded in the same month of 2019. In November, PoS deals valued at N480.6 billion were recorded, a 58 per cent increase over N303.8 billion recorded in the same period of 2019.
The value of PoS transactions for December 2020 stood at N574.4 billion, an increase of 54 per cent over N372.7 billion recorded in December 2019. In terms of volume, the number of PoS transactions also increased from 438 million recorded in 2019 to 655 million in 2020, which represents 49.5 per cent growth year-on-year.