By Chinenye Anuforo and Chinwendu Obienyi
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says electronic transactions in Nigeria surged by 66 per cent year-on-year to N330 trillion in December 2021 from N198.61 trillion at the end of 2020.
This is even as it noted that the transformation of the country’s payment system, would require the prioritisation of six regulatory factors.
Delivering a keynote address at a conference tagged “The Future of Payments and Fraud: Catching the Next New, organised by BusinessDay in Lagos on Thursday, the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability CBN, Aishah Ahmad, said that the COVID-19 pandemic changed digitalisation by accelerating the shift to digital image platforms as the foregoing tech trends drove significant change in consumer and business behaviors, banks in which all the other operators in the payments ecosystem are still responding quite rapidly to.
Ahmad who was represented by Deputy Director, Banking and Payments System Department at CBN, Taiwo Oladimeji, said these technological trends coupled with deliberate forward thinking regulatory framework set out by the CBN has manifested in Nigeria’s burgeoning FinTech sector within a fast growing and highly dynamic financial industry, which has leapfrogged many of its counterparts globally and on the continent.
She said, “The impact of these policies by the CBN are evident in areas such as the stability of the payment systems. We have just contributed to the uninterrupted growth in transactions, volumes and values across various channels too. For example, the value of electronic transactions in Nigeria rose by 66 per cent year-on-year to N330 trillion in December 2021 from N198.61 trillion at the end of December 2020”.
While noting that innovation around the payment space globally is evolving and dynamic, Ahmad highlighted six regulatory priorities that would improve Nigeria’s payment system.
Her words, “Innovation is acknowledged as an important lever to drive meaningful progress in this direction. While financial inclusion continues to improve in Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria has set an ambitious target and that is to achieve means for enabling competition within the fintech sector, which facilitates digital financial services.
Firstly, the need for new innovative players to be identified and licensed in order to bring them within the regulatory limits was highlighted. Also, creation of a framework to understand the markets for new players as more energy will attract opportunities and monitor changes in the monetary transmission mechanism.
The third one is to achieve financial inclusion and democratised access to quality, affordable and cost effective financial services for all Nigerians by resolving the challenges related to identity management, neutral financial access points into operability of payment systems, electronic payments, and open banking among others”.