Nigeria: Economic Difficulties, Electronic Fraud Depress E-Payment Transactions

8 September 2021

Transactions across major electronic payment channels recorded declines in the month of August 2021, though mobile inter-scheme, cheque transactions, Automated Direct Debit (ADD) and Central Pay channels recorded increases.

Industry analysts attributed the declines to the prevailing adverse economic environment as well as increasing incidences of fraud through electronic payment systems.

Data from the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) showed that while volume of e-payment transactions fell by 1.09 percent to 397.9 million in August from N402.3 million in July, the value of the transactions fell by N190 billion or 0.8 percent to N23.97 trillion in August 2021 from N24.16 trillion in July 2021.

Similarly, in August, the volume of transactions through Point of Sale (PoS) declined by 7.4 percent to 75.6 million in August from 81.6 million in July while value of the transactions fell by 9.0 percent to N504.9 billion from N554.7 billion in July while its.

The value of NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) also dropped slightly by 1.2 percent to N22.13 trillion in August from N22.4 trillion in July and its volume fell by 0.11 percent to 293.98 million from 294.3 million in July.

However, the value of transactions done through mobile interscheme rose eight per cent to N719.4 billion in August from N665.2 billion and its volume increased by 4.0 percent to 26.6 million from 25.6 million in July.

The value of cheque transactions rose by 7.0 percent to N265.4 billion in August from N248.6 billion in July and its volume ticked up by 6.0 per cent to 366,002 from 344,621 in July.

Similarly, the value of transactions performed through Automated Direct Debit (ADD) rose by 67 percent to N161.9 billion in August from N96 billion in July and its volume increased by 33 per cent to 2,276 from 1,715 in July.

However, experts in the financial sector of the economy have attributed the decline in PoS transactions to PoS fraud resulting in use of alternative channels by bank customers and the state of the economy resulting in low purchasing power.

Commenting on the development, President Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agent in Nigeria, AMMBAN, Olojo Victor, said: "One of the reasons for decline in PoS transactions is the state of the economy. The declining state of the economy has led to a decline in purchasing power of citizens.

"Another reason is PoS fraud. There have been several publications on issues of PoS fraud in agent banking. This has made people withdraw from the use of PoS for transactions. This is a situation we are very concerned about and we are working to ensure that people are able and happy to perform transactions through agents.

"Thirdly, probably the public are beginning to embrace other alternative channels such as Quick Response (QR) code, cash, among others for transactions. That might be a reason for decline in PoS transactions."

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