E-payment Decrease To N37tn As Failed Transaction Increase

By Clement Alphonsus

An increase in failed payment transactions in February has lead to 4.83 per cent decrease in the value of cashless transactions to N37.67tn from the N39.58tn that was recorded in January 2023.

This came as the usage of epayment gateways recorded a 41.29 per cent month-on-month increase according to new data from Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System.

In February, cashless gateways were used 901.46 million times, in January, they were used 638 million times. Despite an increase in usage, the total value of cashless transactions fell in February, indicating an increase in the number of failed transactions.

As the major payment switch in the country, the NIBSS records cashless transactions from the Nigeria Instant Payment System and Point of Sales terminals. In February, the total NIP (instant payments) fell to N36.79tn from N38.772tn in January.

Despite the scarcity of naira witnessed in the month, the data from NIBSS revealed that the value of PoS transactions grew from N807.16bn in January to N883.45bn in February.

Since the Central Bank of Nigeria announced its naira redesign policy and withdrawal limits, in 2022, Nigerians have had to adopt electronic forms of transactions.

While announcing its policy, the apex bank said, “The maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawals across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations shall be N500,000 and N5m respectively.”

It added, “Customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels (Internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS, eNaira, etc.) to conduct their banking transactions.”

Many bankers have suggested that some of these failures have been because the NIBSS didn’t increase its capacity for the increase in the volume of transactions.

A First Bank banker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed that the NIBSS had been witnessing more downtime because of the pressure of transactions.

According to the banker, this downtime has been affecting outflow and inflow of transfers. The banker stated that the payment switch has to increase its capacity in order for it to handle the pressure from the CBN’s policy.