The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) announced on Wednesday a significant rise in cashless transactions in the country, reaching a total of N611.06 trillion in 2023. This marks a substantial increase of 54.55% from the N395.38 trillion recorded in 2022.
NIBSS Instant Payments, introduced in 2011, played a pivotal role in facilitating these transactions. It is an account-number-based, real-time inter-bank payment solution that ensures instant value transfer to the beneficiary.
An analysis of NIBSS data revealed that electronic payment channels were utilized 11.05 billion times in 2023, representing a robust 75.96% surge from the previous year’s 6.28 billion transactions. The total value of instant payments reached N600.36 trillion, with Point of Sale (POS) transactions accounting for N10.7 trillion and utilized 1.38 billion times.
This surge in cashless transactions signifies an enhanced acceptance of digital payments among Nigerians, with December recording the highest transaction value, particularly during the festive season.
Notably, March 2023 witnessed a peak in electronic transactions, totaling 1.1 billion, attributed to cash scarcity, prompting increased reliance on electronic channels. Although March saw a surge in transaction volume, the value was not as high as December’s peak.
Moreover, NIBSS processed a staggering 9.7 billion transactions throughout 2023, compared to 5.1 billion in 2022, indicating a remarkable 90% year-on-year increase.
A month-by-month analysis of electronic transactions revealed varying expenditure patterns. In January, Nigerians spent N38.9 trillion on electronic platforms, followed by N36.8 trillion in February. March experienced a substantial surge, with transaction values soaring to N48.3 trillion, largely driven by cash scarcity.
The upward trajectory in cashless transactions underscores the growing reliance on digital payment solutions, reflecting the evolving landscape of financial transactions in Nigeria.