The volume of cheques cleared by Nigerian banks keep shrinking as bank customers continue to embrace electronic payments for their financial transactions.
From January to September this year, the volume of cheques dropped by 39 per cent to 3.59 million compared with 5.88 million recorded in the industry in the same period last year, the latest data from the Nigerian Interbank settlement scheme has shown.
In addition, the value of cash withdrawals with cheques also suffered a 28 per cent decline from N3.37tn from January to September 2019 to N2.42tn in the same period this year.
Experts attribute this trend to the the growing dominance of fintech and adoption of innovations in digital payments by traditional banks.
Meanwhile, NIBBS statistics indicated that the use of digital financial transaction platforms continue to increase as volume of Point of Sales, Instant transfer and other electronic payment platforms continue to record double-digit growth.
In addition, industry statistics showed that the volume of transactions on PoS rose to 440.90 million in January to September 2020 from 309.04 million in the corresponding period in 2019, recording 43 per cent growth.
Analysis of the NIBSS data showed that the value of Point of Sales transactions also grew by 186 per cent to reach N6.4tn from January to September 2020 as against a total of N2.24tn recorded in the first nine months of 2019.
On the NIBSS Instant Payment platform, 67 per cent growth was recorded as the volume of transactions rose to 1.34 billion from January to September 2020, as against 803.15 million in the corresponding period in 2019.
The value of financial transactions via NIP also grew by 39 per cent to reach N105.3tn from January to September 2020, compared with N75.53tn in the first nine months of 2019.
Speaking recently at a virtual forum themed ‘Financial inclusion in the New Normal, Leveraging digital payments’, the Managing Director, Cyberspace Limited, Joe Onwubuya, noted that with the continued growth in technology adoption, financial inclusion scheme of the CBN had improved over the years.
According to him, every eligible member of the society should have access to financial services irrespective of location and financial status.
Citing a report by Findex compiled by World Bank, he said merchants of companies that adopt technology to widen, scale-up and ease access to financial services recorded marked improvements in financial inclusion.
Also, the Head, Digital Financial Services, Central Bank of Nigeria, Ambore Stephen, stated that recent figures showed that 36.6 million Nigerians were excluded from access to financial services including pension and insurance.
According to him, the CBN revised the national financial inclusion strategy and provided a level playing field for the provision of financial services in order to attain 80 per cent financial inclusion by the end of the year.
He said the apex bank had issued payment service bank licences in order to open up the space for non-traditional players like the telcos, FCMGs and other large retail outlets with large distribution networks.