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NIBSS: Instant payment grows by 89% to N58.9trn

PoS records N1.5trn deals

Electronic transactions over the Nigeria Inter- Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) Instant Payment recorded massive growth in the first quarter of this year as Nigerians spent N58.9 trillion over the platform. This represents 89 per cent growth when compared with N31.2 trillion recorded in the same period of last year. While COVID-19 was said to have sparked a massive embrace of electronic payment last year, the huge increase in the use of the channels this year, as witnessed between January and March even without any lockdown or movement restriction indicates a growing culture of e-transaction across the country. A breakdown of the threemonth transaction value showed that bank customers transacted deals valued at N18.5 trillion over the NIBSS platform in January. In February, the value of transactions stood at N18.3 trillion while it rose to N22 trillion in March. The increase in value was a reflection of the surge in the volume of deals which rose by over 100 per cent from 366 million recorded in Q1’20 to 734 million in Q1’21.

NIBSS Instant Payments (NIP) is an account-numberbased, online-real-time Inter- Bank payment solution developed in the year 2011 by NIBSS. It is the Nigerian financial industry’s preferred funds transfer platform that guarantees instant value to the beneficiary. According to NIBSS, over the years, Nigerian banks have exposed NIP through their various channels, that is, internet banking, bank branch, Kiosks, mobile apps, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), PoS, ATM, etc. to their customers. NIBSS data for 2020 showed that the value of the NIP transaction grew by 50 per cent last year to N158.1 trillion from N105.2 trillion in 2019. This was even as the volume of deals increased by 77 per cent from 1.14 billion in 2019 to 2.03 billion in 2020. Meanwhile, NIBSS data for Point of Sales (PoS) transactions also showed sustained growth as deals valued at N1.5 trillion were recorded between January and March. Compared with N1 trillion recorded in the same period last year, the channel recorded 50 per cent growth in Q1’20. The monthly breakdown shows that transactions valued at N489.2 billion were carried out over the PoS terminals across the country in January. In February, the value of PoS deals stood at N468.9 billion, while the figure rose to N531.4 billion in March. The volume of transactions also increased from 139 million recorded in Q1’20 to 223 million in Q1’21. This represents a 60 per cent growth year-on-year. The transactions were carried out over 510,770 active terminals deployed by merchants across the country. This also showed that additional 51,480 new terminals were deployed in the last three months as the number of deployed machines stood at 459,290 as of December 2020. However, there is still a gap between the number of registered PoS and the number of deployed machines.

According to NIBSS, 783,140 PoS were registered as of March this year, which showed that a total of 272, 370 terminals are either yet to be deployed or have become inactive. Meanwhile, an expert in the payment industry has called for more innovation in the e-payment system to limit contacts. Speaking recently at the American Business Council Economic Update in partnership with Mastercard, Principal/Divisional Lead at Mastercard Advisors (Sub-Saharan Africa), Bola Asiru, noted that the changes in payment patterns also stems from a rising consciousness that limiting contacts with cash will not be sufficient if payment cards still have to be handled by different parties before payment is made. In the bid to limit contact, “businesses need to adapt their strategic plans in order to add value to evolving consumer needs,” Asiru noted in his presentation during the virtual conference. “Contactless technology has proven to be an asset in a world where

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