The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) data for February may have refuted predictions that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) policy on the redesign of the naira will deepen electronic transactions in the nation.
The value of transactions decreased to N37.6 trillion in February, down 4.8% from the previous month’s level of N39.58 trillion, presumably as a result of multiple unsuccessful electronic payment transactions.
The NIBSS Interbank Platform, mobile, E-BillsPay, and other e-payment platforms, among them Point of Sales (PoS), were utilized 901.46 million times in February as opposed to 638 million times in January, the organization claims.
NIBSS has painfully avoided updating its efficiency platform webpage, which typically lists the amount of failed transitions and other information, for the past two years or more.
The banks’ ePayment platforms failed the stress test despite around N100 billion in investments, according to a March 7 article in The Guardian, which furthered the upheaval the CBN policy had already caused.
The failure of several small businesses, as well as the unavailability of payment from banks, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), exorbitant fees from Point of Sale (PoS) agents, bank app crashes, and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), have adversely affected Nigerians’ quality of life over the past seven weeks.
Further data analysis, however, revealed that the number of PoS transactions increased from 96.3 million in January to 113.5 million in February, while the value also increased from N807 billion to N883.4 billion.
A total of 183,687.1 mobile transactions were recorded by the system in February, up from 108,135.96 in January. From N2.37 trillion in January to N2.56 trillion in February, the value increased.
The statistics also revealed an increase in check transactions, which were valued at N238.4 billion in February as opposed to N244 billion in January, to 333.952 in February from 319.373 in January.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have not experienced any relief with regard to using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD). It’s annoying that so many systems still can’t connect to one another.
Due to the over N80 billion debt, the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has already said that its members have not disconnected the banks from their network.
No banks have been terminated, according to Gbolahan Awonuga, Head of Operations at ALTON, who spoke to The Guardian on Sunday.
“No bank has been deactivated by telecoms operators. The challenge they are having is lack of capacity, especially at their backend. They need to work on that as fast as possible because Nigerians are groaning seriously,” he stated.
In fact, the CBN made its announcements regarding the naira redesign strategy and withdrawal restrictions in 2022, compelling Nigerians to switch to electronic payment methods. The apex bank declared its policy and stated: “The maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawals across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations shall be N500,000 and N5 million respectively.”
It added, “Customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels (Internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS, eNaira, etc.) to conduct their banking transactions.”
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