By Omodele Adigun
Instant Pay has continued to enjoy wide patronage among bank customers in the country as over N13 trillion worth of transactions were done through the platform in just three months.
According to the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), in its electronic Fact Sheet for the first quarter of the year, the Instant electronic payment, otherwise known as NIBSS’ Instant Pay (NIP), grossed N13.13 trillion from 69.66 million transactions to beat eight other platforms.
The e-channels are NIBSS Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT), N3 trillion; Automated Teller Machine (ATM), N1.5 trillion; Cheque settlement, N1.45 trillion; Point of Sale (PoS), N286 billion; Mobile Money Operations (MMOs), N260.6 billion; e-Bills Pay, N159 billion; and Web payment, N46.57 billion.
Giving further analysis, NIBSS explained that the total number of active bank customers in the country, as at last December, stood at 63 million, operating 98 million accounts.
Out of the total accounts, 70 million are savings, while 25 million are current. The number of individual account holders stood at 85 million as against six million corporate accounts holders.
But out of the whole lot, only 67 million accounts are active, with the Bank Verification Number linked with just 26.5 million.
As for the volume of transactions that passed through each channels, the NIBSS’ survey states that the total number of cheques processed during the three months was 2.65 million. Out of this, Corporate cheques were 1.47 million worth N0.95 trillion, while individual cheques were 0.66 million valued at N0.23 trillion.
In all, the average daily volume of cheque operation was put at 29,450 valued at N558,037.
As for NEFT, its daily volume was put at 64,201 valued at N534,260, while 773,973 transactions worth of N188,464 was recorded for NIP. On daily average value for e-Bills Pay, it was put at N549,940 done in 3,213 times. The daily average value of PoS during the period stood at N10,732 from 296,078 transactions.
As at last September, the number of active ATM cards in the country was put at 29.24 million used to carry out 179 million transactions in the three months, January to March of 2017.
The e–Fact Sheet stated further that 21 Mobile Money operators were registered in the country with 1.2 million customers in their system. Within the first quarter of the year, they were able to conduct 12.6 million transactions.
On Web Payments, it seems bank customers are yet to embrace that channel for conducting businesses as the volume of transactions during the three-month period stood at a mere 5.52 million.
Recall that a Whitepaper on e-payment Statistics for five-year period, from 2012 to 2016 released last February by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), also put NIP atop the varying payment channels as over N89.8 trillion was recorded through the platform in five years.
Both volume and value of transactions that passed through the seven various payment channels during the period, revealed that NIP and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) were the favourites of Nigerians when it came to alternative cash settlement during the period.
ATM transactioons led in the volume with about 1.98 trillion to beat instant fund transfer to the second place with about 244.77 million.
But in terms of amount recorded, NIP came first with over N89.815 trillion, while its twin-platform, National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT), was second with over N68.015 trillion. Cheque settlement, although the report indicated that it may no longer be in vogue as its use was declining, as it was used to settle about 64.89 million transactions totaling N33.43 trillion within the period.
However, bank customers withdrew or deposited cash put at over N16.39 trillion through the ATM.
Other payment channels such as Mobile Money, Point of Sales (PoS) and Web recorded N1.55 trillion, N1.54 trillion and over N345.76 billion in that order through 127.25,114.29 and 29.23 deals.
On year-on-year, analysis, over N13.75 trillion was transfered in 2012 through NEFT as against over N3.89 trillion done via NIP. Cheque came next as the third instrument of transaction closing to N7.49 trillion deals, while about N1.99 trillion cash was withdrawn through ATM. NEFT and NIP both recorded about N14.37 trillion and N10.49 trillion respectively in 2013; but in 2014, NIP took the lead by over N5trillion with more than N19.92 trillion to NEFT’s N14.56 trillion. In 2015, NEFT dropped to N13.09 trillion, while NIP transactions galloped to N25.54 trillion. The following year, NEFT tumbled again, this time around to N12.24 trillion as NIP continues to enjoy wide patronage of Nigerians with more than N29.61 trillion.
However, cheque usage, in comparison with ATM, peaked in 2013 with N7.71 trillion, but dropped to N7.27 trillion the next year. Since then, this instrument of payment continued to lose steam as it plunged to N6.2 trillion and N4.77 trillion in 2015 and 2016 respectively. ATM, on the other hand, rose above N2.83 trillion in 2013.And since then, it has continued to grow in leaps and bounds.
For instance, in 2014, transactions through ATM channel was put at N3.682 trillion and the following year, it jumped above N3.97 trillion before wrapping up 2016 at over N3.92 trillion.
The other channels, PoS and Mobile Money recorded N48.5billion and N31.51 billion worth of transactions respectively in 2012.