E-payment transactions across the country dropped by N96bn, representing 26% in April compared to the preceding month of March, according to data released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN]
This may not be unconnected with the Coronavirus lock-down in the commercial cities of Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states, in March through May, affecting business activities.
The lockdown was imposed as a counter measure against the rising cases of Covid-19 in the country. However, since the lockdown over 33,000 cases of Covid-19 has been recorded one of the lowest per capita in the world.
According to provisional data sourced from the central bank, total volume of transactions was 251.9 million in March but dropped to 186.6 million in April, the month of the lockdown.
Transaction values also dropped from N12.3 trillion in March 2020 to N7.6 trillion in April 2020 a N4.6 trillion drop or 37.7% drop in transaction value.
The last time Nigeria recorded payment transactions of less than 190 million for the subsets was in February 2018 at 159.9 million.
In terms of value, the NIBBS or (NIP) platform remains the dominant form of transferring money by value but suffered a N3.9 trillion drop in transaction values. This perhaps reflects the lockdown of economic activities as most companies who rely on this platform to make transfers operated minimally. Cheque channels even performed worse with only N10.3 billion in transaction value.
POS transactions, which reflects spending pattern of Nigerians via merchant outlets such as supermarkets, retail markets and shops, shopping malls etc. dipped by 26.2% from N368.9 billion in March 2020 to just N272 billion in April 2020.
Despite this drop, the value of POS transactions recorded in April appears to be an improvement especially when you consider that average value POS transactions in the whole of 2019 was N267 billion per month.
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