•PoS deals hit N2.4trn
Financial transactions through mobile phones maintained steady growth in the last seven months as bank customers transferred a total of N1.4 trillion through their devices. The value of the mobile transactions between January and July this year represents a 375 per cent growth over N289 billion recorded in the same period of last year. According to the e-payment data released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS), the amount transferred over mobile platform in the last seven months has surpassed the total value of mobile transfers recorded in the 12 months of 2019, which stood at N828 billion. NIBSS revealed that the volume of the mobile interscheme transactions also rose by 485 per cent from 10.9 million recorded between January and July 2019 to 63.8 million in the same period of 2020.
While the surge in the use of mobile transfer for payment within the last seven months could also be attributed to coronavirus pandemic, which forced many to limit face-toface transactions even before the declaration of lockdown in some states, industry analysts said the growth indicated that efforts to deepen financial inclusion by banks, fintech, and telecommunications companies are yielding positive results. Analysis of the figures for the seven months showed that the sum of N133.2 billion was transferred via mobile in January this year.
In February, transactions worth N148.3 billion were carried out over the mobile, while in March a total ofN169.8 billion was recorded as mobile transfers. In April, a total of N172 billion was transferred over mobile, while the figure stood at 230.2 billion in May.
The steady increase in mobile transactions continued in June as the figure N245.9 billion, while the highest monthly value was recorded in July at N275 billion. Meanwhile, the NIBSS data showed that electronic payments through the various platforms made available by banks and facilitated by NIBSS sustained their gains in the period under review. For instance, transactions over Point of Sales (PoS), rose by 41 per cent as the value of transactions on the platform across the country N2.4tn in the seven months, compared with N1.7 trillion recorded in the same period of last year.
The NIBSS data showed that in January 2020, N313.43 billion worth of transactions was carried out over the PoS, an amount which is 41 per cent higher than the N222.92bn recorded in January 2019. In February 2020, the value grew by 69 per cent from N193.43bn in 2019 to N326.03bn. In March 2020, N368.86bn worth of transactions was conducted, an amount which is 70 per cent higher than the N217.46bn recorded in 2019. By April, the value of transaction declined slightly to N272 bil-lion, 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 last year.
The value of PoS transactions in June stood at N364.7 billion, which was 48 per cent higher than 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 last year. In terms of volume of transactions, the e-payment platform also recorded 46.9 per cent increase as the volume of the PoS transactions for the seven months stood at 332 million compared with 226 million recorded in the same period of last year. Analysis of the monthly volume showed that in January, the total volume of PoS payments was 41.30 million; 46.07 million in February and 52.25 million in March 2020. In April, the volume stood at 40.8 million while it increased to 48.3 million in May. By June, the transaction volume rose to 49.4 million, while 53.9 million was recorded in July.
Out of a total of 548, 592 terminals registered by Nigerian banks, only 360,534 had been actively deployed for use as of July, NIBSS data showed. This brought the number of inactive PoS terminals in the country to 188,058. However, with the growth in electronic transactions, there have been concerns over rising electronic frauds. Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) confirmed this fear recently when it disclosed that a total of 63,895 bank customers lost N3.6bn to cyber fraud in two years, 2017 and 2018.