By Babajide Komolafe
THE value of electronic payment transactions rose by 8.1 percent in the first half of 2019 (H1’19).
Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, showed that monthly average value of transactions through seven channels rose to N13.3 trillion in H1’19 from N12.3 trillion in the corresponding period of 2018, translating to 8.1 percent Year-on-Year, YoY, increase.
The e-payment channels include Nigeria Automated Payment System, NAP, Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, Point-of-Sales, PoS, Internet and Mobile Money. Others are Nigeria Instant Payment System, NIP, e-Bills Pay, Remita, m-Cash and Central Pay.
According to the CBN the channels recorded 3.3 billion volume of transactions valued at N80.2 trillion in H1’19.
In terms of value of transactions, NIP led with N49 trillion, followed by NAP with N11.6 trillion, Remita with N9.8 trillion, ATM with N3.2 trillion and cheques with N2.3 trillion.
The growth in e-payment transactions is being driven by the cashless policy introduced by the CBN in 2012 which imposes limits for free cash lodgement and withdrawals.
The policy introduced charges for cash lodgement and withdrawals above the stipulated limits.
Last week, the CBN introduced additional charges adding that the implementation of the charges will commence nationwide March 2020, while immediate implementation will commence six states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
According to the CBN the charges include three per cent processing fees for withdrawals and two per cent processing fees for lodgements of amounts above N500, 000 for individual accounts. For corporate accounts, said that DMBs would charge five per cent processing fees for withdrawals and three per cent processing fee for lodgements of amounts above N3 million.
Meanwhile, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele said that the cashless policy is in the overall interest of the public stressing that it would improve transparency in financial dealings and reduce crime.
Speaking at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, held on Friday, Emefiele said: “Indeed it is in public interest to promote an efficient payment system via the cashless policy which also reduces the punitive process of cash processing which are then passed on to Deposit Money Bank customers.
“Cashless policy also improves transparency in financial dealings and reduction in crime such as Advance Fee Fraud, graft and extortion. It is in line with the CBN quest to adopt the international best practice and in line with international conventions.
“Charges have always been charges on deposits and withdrawals and these things have been in place since 2012. At inception, if you deposited or carried out a withdrawal above certain threshold, in this case N500, 000 for individuals and N3 million for corporates you were charged.”