The new push for the nation’s cashless polcy by the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), occasioned by the redesigning of some naira notes and limits on withdrawals would boost electronic transactions and consequently, economic growth, some analysts say.
They argue that for the economy to achieve the desired growth, cashless policy must have to be embraced by majority of the citizens.
Already, Electronic payment transactions in Nigeria rose to N387 trillion in 2022, hitting an all-time high as more Nigerians embrace cashless payments.
Specifically, some banks like UBA, Access, among others have intensified their efforts in ensuring multiple transaction options for their customers.
But metrobusinessnews.com (MBN) investigations as at today, Friday, show that despite CBN’s directive most of the banks’ATMs were still dispensing old notes.
Some ATMs owned by GTBank, Firstbank and Sterling bank visited were still dispensing the old notes.
Hoever, according to the data released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), the value recorded on the NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) represents a 42% increase over the N272 trillion recorded in 2021.
While the e-payment data showed a steady increase throughout the 12 months of the year, the highest value was recorded in December. Being a festive period with lots of spending activities, Nigerians spend a total of N42 trillion over electronic channels in December 2022. This came as the all-time high monthly record on the NIBSS electronic payment platform.
The volume of transactions processed by NIBSS for the year also jumped from 3.4 billion in 2021 to 5.1 billion in 2022. This represents a 50% increase year on year.
While the CBN’s cashless policy is already gaining traction with many Nigerians getting used to mobile transfers, paying with PoS, and USSD, among others, the revised cashless policy, which is further limiting the amount of cash that can be withdrawn by individuals and corporate organisations will further drive a surge in electronic transactions across the country.
According to the new policy which followed the redesigning of N1,000, N500, and N200 notes, effective from January 9, 2023, cash withdrawal by an individual will be limited to N500,000 a week, while corporate organisations have a N5 million withdrawal limit in a week.
The apex bank said it will also limit the amount of cash in circulation effective from January 31, when the current old notes will cease to be legal tender. This will force many Nigerians to use electronic channels for payments.
Already CBN has commenced public awareness on the new policy, while assuring the public that the new notes will be available for public use.
Friday Ameh, Lagos based analyst believes that efficient and effective implentation of the policy would leave the economy better, adding that “It is in line with international best practices.”
According to another analyst who pleaded for anonymity, most of the arguments against the new naira notes and limits on withdrawals are selfish and illogical, adding, “why have some of our legislators suddenly become vocal on these issues when they have all this while been ‘seat warmers’?.
According to him,” it is either they are fighting for their selfish interests or interests of their political masters who are finding it difficult to offload the notes starched in various places,”.
The NIBSS Instant Payments (NIP) is an account-number-based, online real-time Inter-Bank payment solution developed in the year 2011 by NIBSS. It is the Nigerian financial industry’s preferred funds transfer platform that guarantees instant value to the beneficiary.
According to NIBSS, over the years, Nigerian banks have exposed NIP through their various channels, that is, internet banking, bank branch, Kiosks, mobile apps, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), POS, ATMs, etc. to their customers.