Mobile drives payment as instant pay users hit 11m


There are indications that the country’s electronic payments ecosystem is today driven by mobile means of communications as the number of Instant Pay users in the system is put at 11million with mobile and USSD accounting for 77 per cent of this figure, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek has learnt.

Mrs. Christabel Onyejekwe, executive director, Technology & Operations, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) disclosed this at Point of Sale, PoS, innovation summit held in Lagos recently.

According to her, ‘innovation is critical to the growth of e-payment in the country as disruption we are going to witness in the next five years will be bigger than what we have seen in the last 10 years. Data is the future. If any business is not based on data such business will not go far.’

She added that Instant Pay is the future of payment as card business is declining. “This is why MasterCard and Visa are coming up with mobile payment services such as Mvisa and MasterPass,” she said.

Elsewhere, Mohammed Rudman, chief executive officer, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) speaking on the impact of digitization on the banking system, said that Nigeria has recorded huge success toward digital transformation.

“There has been an unprecedented transformation in the banking industry brought about by digitalization, for example, financial transactions involving the use and movement of physical cash are gradually declining.

“The use of POS and other several simple avenues of the transaction have made life very easy to the consumers, the bank and government. Individuals no longer had to embark on a trip to the bank to conduct banking business, the banks, on the other hand, have less ratio of customers to attend to, in essence, reduction in the cost of banking services as well as reduction in high security and safety risks – Remember the days of abundant bullion vans on our roads, with frequent reports of armed robbery?

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“Reducing the amount of cash being physically handled ensures that CBN has less old notes to destroy and to print replacements. The government can now have better data to understand the informal sector of the economy which would assist in tax and general development planning,” he said.

“In the 2017 Digital Evolution Index developed by Mastercard and Tufts University, Nigeria was ranked among countries in the breakout zone, meaning that it faces significant challenges with the low state of digitalization, especially in the area of infrastructure required to increase the momentum of adoption but are evolving rapidly.

Advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, automation, self-driving cars and artificial intelligence, are projected to affect about 50 per cent of the world economy, these are some of the outcomes of the application of digital technologies.

He added that: “There are many relative success stories in other key areas as well, such education, Commerce, health, housing, employment, security, transportation, fighting corruption etcetera, which is too numerous to elaborate here. We have achieved much in less than two decades, but the journey to digital transformation is perpetual, we can’t afford to slow down, especially with our ever-expanding population. We have to find innovative ways to educate our young population and equip them with the right skills to handle ever-evolving job market.”