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Electronic fund transfers set to hit N160billion daily

By on May 17, 2013

The value of electronic funds transfer in the country is likely to hit N160bn per day by the end of the year in the second phase of the cash-less policy, which is planned to commence in July.

The next phase of the cash-less policy will have the Federal Capital Territory, Abia, Rivers, Anambra, Kano and Ogun states coming on board.

The Chief Executive Officer, Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Onajite Regha, who spoke to our correspondent in an exclusive interview, said the current value of electronic fund transfers would most likely double because there would be a lot of changes, which would compel people to use e-Fund transfer channels.

Recent Central Bank of Nigeria data showed that the value of electronic fund transfers in the country was currently N80bn daily.

The Nigeria Interbank Settlement System is handling transactions worth about N20bn daily, while the Nigeria Electronic Funds Transfer is conducting about N60bn worth of transactions daily.

Regha said, “By the time we do six months into the new phase, the figure is likely going to rise by over 100 per cent.

“All these places we are going to are places where cash is moved heavily. We are looking at six additional commercial centres. We should, therefore, not forget that right now, it is only Lagos that is functional.”

E-PPAN had earlier called for industry collaboration that would ensure improved connectivity to Point of Sale terminals deployed to drive the cash-less economy in the country.

At the last count, the number of PoS terminals so far deployed in the country for the cash-less initiative was put at 150,000.

The E-PPAN CEO, who noted that the initiative was recording success and had continued to impact positively on Nigerians, however, lamented that the issue of connectivity to the PoS remained a major challenge.

She said, “By the time we started the Cash-less Lagos scheme, the projection of the regulator was that by December, 2012, we would have recorded 40,000 PoS terminal deployment. But available data showed that we now have about 150, 000 PoS machines in Lagos.

“However, the question is: How many of the PoS are working? So, that is where I believe we need to work on. We need to have better connectivity to these terminals to encourage the merchants and the consumers to use the devices for seamless payment transactions.”

Regha urged all the players in the e-payment industry to collaborate in order to ensure that the connectivity challenges were addressed to bring redundant PoS terminals into life.

The Deputy Governor, Operations, CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo, recently explained that the NIBSS provided the infrastructure for automated processing, settlement of payments and fund transfer instructions among banks, discount houses and card companies in the country.

It is owned equally by all licensed banks and the CBN. Discount houses operating in the country also hold substantial shares in the NIBSS.

Lemo noted that both the value and volume of cash transactions executed through the NIBSS and the NEFT had doubled when compared to the use of cheques.

He said, “We have forgotten that the cash-less also includes high volume payment transactions such as the NIBSS Instant Payment. The NIP now moves between N20bn and N40bn worth of transactions daily.

“The cash-less Lagos also includes the NEFT. Through NEFT, we have tens of thousands of transactions valued at over N60bn daily. So, between NEFT and NIP, we have transactions now that have more than doubled the cheque transaction volume.”

Lemo said the additional states were chosen because of the large volume of cash transactions taking place in their major cities.

“Recall that we started this programme actually in January last year and we are only just continuing. We are only just moving to the phase two; so, we have learnt all the ropes in the phase one of the Cash-less Lagos, and we believe we are ready to roll out to other six locations in Nigeria,” he said.