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A document made available by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), yesterday, has shown that the country registered a total of N6.849 trillion in electronic fund transfers between January and September, 2013. The document revealed that the NIBBS Instant Pay (NIP) tracked a monthly transaction value of N761 billion from an average volume of 1.13 million transactions within the period reported. “The NIBSS Instant Pay has grown steadily since inception. NIP recorded an average volume of 1.13 million and transaction value of N761bn on a monthly basis during this period. This can be attributed to the reliability of the electronic funds transfer product, which has also increased product patronage,” the document stated. Also reflected in the document was the growth in volume of cheques processed in the second quarter (Q2) of 2013, with June (ending of Q2) recording a growth rate of 19 percent more than the month of May. The percentage increase, according to the document, was linked to the adoption of cheque truncation in the country. “There was also a noticeable increase in the value of cheque transactions during the same period,” it explained. The NIBSS document also suggested that the cashless policy in Lagos, which continues to gain momentum, has been Cash-less-policysuccessful. During the first three quarters in 2013, it was noted that Point of Sale (POS) terminals surged to the point where it was used in 591,000 transactions, on average, every month with increasing value of transaction as consumers’ confidence in its reliability increased. “This trend would likely continue once Value Added Services are deployed on PoS terminals and merchants earn incentives from accepting payments on the terminals,” it noted. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) kicked off the second phase of the cashless policy at the start of the third quarter (Q3) in the Federal Capital Territory, Abia, Rivers, Anambra, Kano and Ogun states, with full implementation taking effect on October 2nd, 2013. Mrs. Onajite Regha, Chief Executive Officer, Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (EPPA), noted that application is open to other states of the federation besides the six states that had just been activated. She pointed out that the CBN should have implemented the cashless policy across Nigeria within the next 12 months. Due to the increasing success of the cashless initiative, Regha added that EPPAN and stakeholders in the financial services and payment sector were considering options of recruiting more agents to promote the policy in order to increase penetration nationwide.  

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This article was first published on 10th October 2013

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