By Babajide Komolafe
The value of electronic transactions rose sharply to cross the N1 trillion mark in the first half of 2011, reflecting the impact of the cashless policy on acceptance and usage of electronic payment channels.
However, transactions via Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) maintained dominance, as it accounted for 96.4 per cent of total electronic transactions.
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed this in its economic report for first half of 2012 released last week. The report said, “ The value of electronic card (e-card) transactions rose by 32.8 per cent to N1,014.71 billion in the first half of 2012 from N764.14 billion in the first half of 2011, while the volume increased from 167,962,665 in the first half of 2011 to 185,078,223 in the period under review.
“Data on various e-payment channels for the period under review indicated that Automated Teller Machine (ATM) remained the most patronized, accounting for 96.4 per cent, followed by mobile payments with 1.3 per cent and POS terminals, 1.2 per cent.
The web (internet) was the least patronized, accounting for only 1.1 per cent of total e-payment transactions. In value terms, ATM accounted for 90.8 per cent; POS, 2.5 per cent; the web (Internet), 4.9 per cent; while mobile payments accounted for 1.8 per cent.”
“The number of ATMs stood at 10,221 as at end-June 2012. The volume of ATM transactions amounted to 178,421,736 compared with 164,755,055 in the first half of 2011, and represented an increase of 8.3 per cent. The value of ATM transactions, also, increased during the period to N937.39 billion from N698.19 billion representing an increase of 34.3 per cent. The development reflected the increasing popularity of the mode of payment by the public.
“Internet payments increased by 74.8 and 9.3 per cent to 2,103.4 and N50.4 billion in volume and value, respectively, in the review period. The rise was due to increased acceptance of the use of online payments. “The first half of 2012 witnessed an increase in the volume and value terms of on-line POS transactions.
At 2,121.963 and N26,04 billion, POS transactions rose by 162.3 and 104.4 per cent over the levels in the corresponding half of 2011. The growth in the POS transactions was due to the increase in the number of people and merchants using debit cards.
“The volume of payments through the mobile banking channel increased by 103 per cent from 1,195,459 in the first half of 2011 to 2,430,864 in the period under review. The value also, increased by 18 per cent to N83.4 billion during the period from N70.6 billion in the first half of 2011.
“At the end of June 2012, the volume and value of cleared cheques decreased by 12.1 and 13.5 per cent to 18,154,880 and N10, 081.39 billion, from 20,663,260 and N11, 657.93 billion, respectively, at end-December 2011. This development resulted from increased use of electronic channels.”