For context, USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) is that infrastructure that allows you to execute transactions on your mobile, without requiring the internet.
That’s why by dialling *919# or *737# as a UBA or GTB user respectively, you’re able to run financial transactions even on feature (not smart) phones.
Now the numbers.
A cumulative of NGN1.63tr via USSD is a huge one as Adeyemi reports. This number was released by NBS (National Bureau of Statistics) for volumes done in Q4 of last year (i.e. Oct-Dec 2020).
In the same vein, other volumes were recorded, most of which exceeded previous records. See summary below:
Mobile apps transfers (N9.91 trillion)
Direct debits stood (N500 billion)
Transactions by Mobile Money Operators, MMOs (N4.82 trillion)
Online transfers (N120.27 trillion)
Cheque transactions (N4.20 trillion) 10.28 % increase from Q3
Automated Teller Machine, ATM (N4.54 trillion)
Point of Sale, PoS (N1.52 trillion) 25.49% above volume in the previous quarter.
Guardian summarises the figures as seen below:
In all a total volume of 3,464,811,083, transactions worth N356.47 trillion was recorded on electronic payment channels in the period under review.
Does this make you wonder? That for a nation that’s faced with a series of challenges, economic downturns, and currency instability, we’re recording such huge amounts in transactions?
My curiosity is, does the bulk of this money stay within the country or is it being rounded up for export?
Nigeria’s population is currently estimated at 200 million. The majority of this population transact daily, meaning money’s always flowing around. On one side, there’s the advantage of leverage for businesses smart enough to know where to plug ideas.
On the flip side, there’s the sad reality of the larger part of the money being revolved amongst a selected few. In any case, there’s money in the system. But the million-dollar question remains “who are the biggest reapers and losers?” I’ll leave this question open.
Source: Grace Akinosun