The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Monday said a lot of grounds have been covered in the move towards drastically reducing the use of cash for transactions across the country as captured in the cashless policy initiative.
According to the apex bank, a total of N64 billion have been transferred through mobile banking platforms over the past year, out of which over 60 per cent or N38.4 billion were consummated by the 18 mobile payment operators in the past three months.
Deputy Governor, Operations at the CBN, Tunde Lemo, who disclosed this in Lagos, explained that the transfers done through mobile phones has helped to promote “financial inclusion and by extension, make the nation a cashless one.”
Addressing participants at the beginning of the cashless conference in Lagos, with the theme “transiting to a cashless society: charting the way forward,” organised by De Novo and Reach Legal, Lemo said a total of 170,000 point of sales terminals have been deployed by banks to merchant locations as of June 6, 2013. This would increase, he added, as the cashless train moves to more states across the country.
Represented by Dipo Fatokun, director, Banking and Payments System Department, Lemo put the number of automated teller machines deployed at over 10,000 in and outside bank branches with capability to enable bills payment, funds transfer, virtual top-ups, among others.
This, he continued, is just as “more merchants are being signed up to offer services on their portals and accept web payments. Airlines, hotels, telecommunication companies, government bills, etc are making concrete and concerted efforts in this direction. You will agree with me that the use of the electronic shopping malls is fast gaining traction in Nigeria. This is highly commendable and must be strongly supported.”
On internet banking, the CBN chief noted “that inadequate infrastructure, consumer education and even consumer protection can pose serious challenges to the quick adoption of the payment options.”
To overcome these, he said the CBN is working with stakeholders to ensure they are surmounted quickly, just as “the banks, under the aegis of the Bankers’ Committee, have engaged in aggressive campaign in several news media. The CBN had also engaged group of traders, associations and schools to provide the needed awareness and education.”