Amid Cash Scarcity, PoS, USSD, Other Cashless Transactions Hit N611 Trillion

Amid Cash Scarcity, PoS, USSD, Other Cashless Transactions Hit N611 Trillion

  • Cash transactions that were done in Nigeria in the year 2023 hit an all-time high of N611 trillion in value
  • The development was primarily driven by cash scarcity, which persisted for most of the third quarter of 2023
  • The development led to bank agents and PoS operators increasing their transaction charges for customers

Pascal Oparada has over a decade of experience covering Tech, Energy, Stocks, Investments, and Economy.

Data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBBS) have shown that interbank transactions surged to N611.06 trillion in 2023, a significant increase from the N395.38 trillion recorded in 2022.

The data indicates that NIBBS Instant Payments (NIP), launched in 2011, facilitated real-time inter-bank transfers to ensure instant value.

Value of transactions done in Nigeria hit an all-time high in 2023
Cashless transactions hit an all-time high in 2023. Images for illustration purpose. Credit: PixelsEffect
Source: Getty Images

December witnesses the highest transaction volume

A breakdown of NIBBS data shows a 75.96% rise in electronic payment channels, surging to 11.05 billion transactions.

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The total value of NIPs reached N600.36 trillion, with point-of-sale (PoS) transactions amounting to N10.7 trillion, highlighting the growing acceptance of cashless transactions in Nigeria.

According to a BusinessDay report, December 2023 saw the highest transaction volume of N71.9 trillion, showing increased digital transactions during the yuletide season.

Despite cash scarcity in March, e-payment volume hit 1.1 billion transactions with a lower value than in December.

NIBBS processed about 9.7 billion transactions in 2023, a 90% rise from 2022, emphasising the nation’s shift towards digital transactions.

Monthly electronic transactions ranged from N38.9 trillion in January to N48.3 trillion in March 2023, driven by the changing cashless landscape.

PoS operators reveal reasons for hike

Feelers from the street show that Nigerians are still battling cash scarcity despite the slight availability of cash in January 2024.

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The development has led to PoS operators or bank agents increasing their charges by as much as 50%.

Agents interviewed by revealed that they find it hard to access cash at ATMs and rely on ‘contacts’ inside banks.

Ibidun Oyewole, a PoS operator in the Ogba area of Lagos, told that despite the availability of cash, some banks’ ATMs are still dry or under-dispensing.

“We wake up as early as 5 am to go cash-hunting. If you consider the stress of getting cash, it only makes sense that agents hike their charges.”

Oyewole said that despite the slight charge increase, operators still get patronage from customers.

“Yes, people still patronise us. We are like the intermediaries between the banks and the customers regarding cash transactions. No bank customer wakes up by 5 am to hunt for cash. So, we do the hunting for them,” she said.

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FG, others set to launch feature to detect PoS fraud reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is collaborating with the Association of Mobile Money and Banking Agents of Nigeria (AMMBAN) and the Nigerian Electronic Fraud Forum (NEFF) to implement a new feature on Point of Sale (PoS) terminals.

Lilian Phido, head of corporate communications at Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS), told reporters that the Nigerian Electronic Fraud Forum drove the partnership.

According to a recent report by the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) on "Frauds and Forgeries in Nigerian Banks," Nigerian banks recorded a staggering 78,584 fraud cases within a year, shedding light on the ugly side of a cashless society.


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