The first seven months of 2019 and the following months till 2022 have seen mobile transactions rise by N8.981 trillion.
According to data from the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, transactions have risen from N289.12bn to N9.27tn.
This is as the value of cheque transactions fell by 31.42 per cent, from N2.67tn in January to July 2019 to N1.83tn in the corresponding period of 2022.
The outbreak of COVID-19 saw the use of mobile payment surge from 2020, while the decline in the use of cheques also began around the time.
While the mobile transaction was witnessing a surge because of COVID, the total value of amounts cleared via cheques began to witness a decline. Within the first seven months of 2019, the value of the cheques cleared was N2.67tn, in 2020 it declined to N1.86tn, and N1.85tn in 2021, before maintaining its steady decline in 2022 at N1.83tn.
In its ‘Instant Payments – 2020 Annual Statistics,’ the NIBSS asserted that mobile devices drove electronic payment in 2020 as they accounted for 43 per cent of total transactions. It added that 35 per cent of the transactions were with USSD and 78 per cent of total transfer transactions were done using mobile devices.
According to the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, a benefit of financial service riding on telecom infrastructure was the provision of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data as it had brought ease to financial transactions.
Within the time under review, the number of active GSM subscribers increased from 173.63 million in January 2019 to 206.08 million in June 2022.
In its mobile money industry report for 2021, GSMA, the global body for telecommunication companies, noted that “while 2020 saw unparalleled challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the mobile money industry witnessed strong efforts in striving towards cashless societies, entering strategic partnerships to expand the horizons of digital payments and developing new and robust interoperable payment systems.”