Nigerian ATM transactions by value hit N1.5tr for 2011, a 63.3% rise from the N954b obtained in 2010. The N1.56tr value in ATM transactions is now almost 3 times the same amount back in 2008. In times of volume, 347.6m ATM transactions were also consummated last year, 5.7x the volume in 2008. Also, 9.640 ATM cards were in circulations for the year. In total, e-payment transactions increased in volume and value from 195.7m to 355.2 and N1.07tr to N1.67tr respectively. Of interest to me though, is the increase in volume of Mobile Money Transaction (payments with mobile phones) within the last 4 years. From just N700m in 2008, mobile money payment have increased to N20.5b in 2011. This is quite significant as a rise in mobile money payments implies increasing acceptability in the use of mobile phone for cash transactions. The introductions of new mobile payments solutions like Umobile, Paga, PocketMoni is bound to increase this figure in the coming years as the CBN intensifies efforts to drive more people into cash-less banking and more people adopt the use of smart phones.
What does this all mean?
The increase in usage of electronic platforms to conduct money transactions is essential for the development of an economy. E-payments also throws open a whole new market where transactions can be completed from your computer or mobile phones, without having to step out of your confort zone. This is the bedrock for the internet boom in Nigeria, a business segment that is probably the only way out for a new generation of young entrepreneurs to succeed amidst the rent seeking oil and government transactions that generations before them control and won’t relinquish. If E-payments continue to grow then many IT Startups can easily churn up new consumer products to millions of people hungry for new and exciting way to transact businesses. E-payments has its owns problems, especially security, but then even cheque payments and other traditional payment methods have theirs too. The pros in my opinion far outweigh the cons.