POS transactions in Nigeria jumped to N4.6 trillion in the first seven months of 2022, a 29.3% increase compared to N3.56 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2021 and a staggering 90.3% increase when compared to the same period of 2020.
This is according to data culled from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) between January and July 2022. In the same vein, the volume of transactions rose by 25% year-on-year to 679.8 million in the same period from 543.7 million recorded in the previous year.
The increase in both the volume and value of POS transactions is an indication of how Nigerians are increasingly leaning away from cash payments in lieu of electronic transactions and reflects the growth of online shopping in Nigeria’s commercial space.
Notably, the volume and value of cheque transactions dropped in the same period. Specifically, a total of N1.83 trillion was recorded through cheques in the 7-month period across 2.4 million transactions a decline compared to the comparable period of 2021.
In the month of July 2022, POS transactions stood at N724.7 billion, representing the highest monthly value on record based on data tracked since July 2022.
A further check of the historical data showed that the value of POS transactions in Nigeria has almost tripled compared to 2018 when the NIBSS began the release of the data. In the seven months period of 2018, a total of N1.2 trillion worth of transactions were recorded, rising to N1.66 trillion in 2019 before the covid-19 pandemic triggered a significant rise in 2020.
It is worth adding that the cumulative value of POS transactions recorded between January and July 2022, already represents 71.6% of the total N6.43 trillion recorded in the entire 2021.
What is driving growth?
There are several contributing factors to the increasing adoption of POS as a means of transaction by Nigerians. Some of these include:
It has become more difficult for Nigerians to access cash through the usual banking channels. Long queues and wait times, along with intermittent unavailability of cash in the ATM machines have frustrated patrons, leading to POS cashless payments becoming increasingly attractive.
Several parts of the country continue to deal with insecurity, with reports of pick-pocketing and armed robberies being rife. These conditions make it unsafe for people to carry significant amounts of money in cash.
The rapid growth of POS is not just an avenue for payment but also withdrawals have filled a gap for many Nigerians who struggle to access cash through banking channels such as ATM or teller withdrawals. It has also helped in bringing the banking services closer to the rural areas, which do not have as many banks accessible to them.
The profitability of POS transactions for both banks and vendors has bolstered the growing deployment of POS. The cost of the transaction is often borne by the customers, creating profit for the POS operator and the bank.
In recent times, it has also served as a means of employment for Nigerian youths, who are building businesses through the offering of POS services.
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Nairametrics reported that transactions worth over N204.5 trillion were performed electronically in Nigeria between January and July 2022 through the NIBSS Instant Payment platform (NIP), representing a 40% increase compared to N145.8 trillion recorded in the same period of the previous year.
Also, the NIP volume rose by 42% year-on-year to 2.7 billion transactions in the same period from 1.9 billion. This is a further indication of increased adoption of electronic payments as opposed to cash and more traditional ways of payments.