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Business News

Mobile & USSD transactions surge by 82.6% as Covid-19 spurs mobile adoption

Mobile transactions in Nigeria (mobile & USSD) surged by 82.6% in 2020 to stand at 1.69 billion, as covid-19 discourages physical banking.

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Mobile transactions in Nigeria (mobile & USSD) surged by 82.6% in 2020 to stand at 1.69 billion compared to 928.86 million recorded in the previous year. This is according to the 2020 instant payment annual statistics, recently released by the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

The report also revealed that 78% of total instant payments carried out in Nigeria in 2020 were done through the use of mobile devices.

The breakdown of the data showed that while mobile payment retained its position as the most preferred channel, accounting for 43% of the total transactions in 2020, USSD followed closely at 762.19 million transactions, accounting for 35% of the total recorded in the year.

READ: USSD service suspension: FG wades in, resolving issues between MTN and banks

The agency attributed the growth to the move by Nigerians away from physical channels, and the closure of most bank branches in the country during the heat of the covid-19 pandemic.

In terms of Year-on-Year performance, the volume of mobile transactions in the country grew from 506.16 million in 2019 to 933.66 million in 2020, indicating a surge of about 84.5% YoY. Also, the volume of USSD transactions grew from 422.7 million to 762.19 million, advancing by about 80.3% YoY.

READ: Amid sell-off, FUGAZ investors lose N34.68 billion in a single trading session

Key highlights

  • The report stated that with approximately 49.5% smartphone ownership in the country and 97 million mobile internet users, there are strong indications that mobile and USSD payments will see significant growth in the short-medium term.
  • Customers between the ages of 25 – 34 years carried out 36% of all interbank instant payments in 2020. This indicates that the younger demographics boosted the adoption of instant payment in the review period.
  • Also, 79% of instant payment transactions in the review year were initiated by customers between the age of 15 – 44 years.
  • A cursory look at the report also shows that Lagos state maintained the hub for electronic payments, accounting for 30% of the total transactions initiated in the country. Others on the list of highest transaction volumes include; Abuja (7%), Ogun (6%), Rivers (6%), and Oyo state (5%).
  • According to the report, 1.37 billion transactions initiated in the year were carried by males, representing 72% of the total, while 520.04 million or 28% were females.

READ: COVID-19, VAT, FX scarcity adversely impacted our operations in 2020 – Nigerian Breweries boss says

Nairametrics had reported that twelve Nigerian banks listed on the NSE, raked a sum of N216.52 billion from their e-business earnings in 2020. A list that is clearly topped by the tier-1 banks in the country. This shows how banks are leveraging the growing internet adoption in the country.

A look at bank financials

  • Union Bank in its FY 2020 Investors’ presentation stated that the pandemic played a vital role in its 38% YoY growth in Union Mobile active users. It stated that 94% of its transactions are now done online.
  • In the same vein, Access Bank remarked that its USSD users at the end of FY 2020 increased to 7.8 million, while the mobile app and internet banking users were 9.8 million at the end of 2020.
  • GT Bank on the other hand noted that its USSD users grew by 13.1% YoY, from 6.1 million as of December 2019 to 6.9 million in 2020. Of this figure, 5.7 million users were categorized into the active segment.

Bottom line

As witnessed from the increase in the volume of transactions, the covid-19 pandemic has changed the electronic payment landscape in Nigeria and the world as people try to cut the excesses of physically visiting banks to carry out their financial transactions. This was due to the lockdown implemented by the federal government in response to the covid-19 spread.

Nairametrics Research team tracks, collates, maintains and manages a rich database of macro-economic and micro-economic data from Nigeria and Africa. Our analysts share some of the data collated on Nairametrics, using formats such as docs, tables and charts etc. The team also publishes research based analysis as articles on a regular basis.

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Spotlight Stories

Tip Jar, Twitter’s new giveaway feature that lets users send money to you

Twitter has introduced a new feature called Tip Jar that allows you send money to your favourite tweeters.

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US Elections: Twitter, Facebook suspend several news accounts

Twitter has introduced a new feature called Tip Jar that allows you send money to your favourite tweeters.

According to the blog post, “Tip Jar is an easy way to support the incredible voices that make up the conversation on Twitter. This is a first step in our work to create new ways for people to receive and show support on Twitter – with money.”

The new feature utilizes different payment platforms like PayPal, Venmo, Patreon, CashApp, and others.

Users can link their Twitter accounts with Tip Jar to any of these payment providers. Twitter takes no cut.

READ: Facebook is creating an audio chat product similar to Clubhouse

You’ll know an account’s Tip Jar is enabled if you see a Tip Jar icon next to the Follow button on their profile page. Tap the icon, and you’ll see a list of payment services or platforms that the account has enabled. Select whichever payment service or platform you prefer and you’ll be taken off Twitter to the selected app where you can show your support in the amount you choose.

Twitter has released series of features this year as part of its efforts to grow Twitter’s user base to 315 million daily active users by the end of 2023.

The company also launched Twitter crop where images don’t get crop again on Twitter for Android or iOS. Standard aspect ratio images (16:9 and 4:3) will now display in full without any cropping and images will look just like they did when you shot them.

Hotflex

READ: Does YouTube stand a chance against TikTok?

Lauren Alexander, a Twitter spokesperson said, “Today’s launch is a direct result of the feedback people shared with us last year that the way our algorithm cropped images wasn’t equitable, The new way of presenting images decreases the platform’s reliance on automatic, machine learning-based image cropping.”

Twitter has tested several features and more will be rolled out soon.

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Business

Customs Apapa Command generates revenue of N65.4 billion in April

This indicates a 64% increase in collection and an unprecedented record that has never been achieved in the history of Apapa Area Command.

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Border closure: Amid N5bn daily revenue, Customs officials lament allowance slash  

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Apapa Area Command has announced a revenue of N65,463,398,355.85 for the month of April—an increase of N25,585,561,139.92 compared to the same period last year.

This was disclosed by Comptroller Ibrahim Yusuf, Area Controller of Apapa command, in a press briefing on Thursday.

What Ibrahim Yusuf is saying

“This indicates a 64% increase in collection and an unprecedented record that has never been achieved in the history of Apapa Area Command.

In line with the provision of extant laws, trade guidelines, and enforcement of government fiscal policy measures, the command was able to further strengthen its anti-smuggling operations against economic saboteurs through credible intelligence-driven operations.

READ: Customs revenue rises by N200 billion to hit N1.5 trillion in 2020

This led to the seizure of 4×40 feet containers laden with unregistered pharmaceuticals (674 cartons of tramadol tablets in 225mg and 120mg, and 805 cartons of codeine syrup in 100ml) at APMT and SIFAX 3 bonded terminal respectively.

Other items seized in the period under review include: two containers of unprocessed wood and one container of scrap copper wire,” he said.

He added that the progress the Apapa Command made in the month of April was possible due to the resilience of the officers, citing that the Command had taken steps to ensure efficient revenue collection by creating an enabling environment for legitimate businesses to thrive.

What you should know

Recall Nairametrics reported that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Apapa Command stated earlier that it generated a revenue of N159.58 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

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