The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the total volume of payments across payment channels fell by 26 per cent in April compared to the preceding month.
The Federal Government imposed a lockdown on economic activities in Lagos and Ogun states and Abuja between March and April.
The data available were for cheques, ATM, PoS, E-bills and NIP transactions. The CBN data for April excluded other transaction channels, such as Web, Mobile, and NEFT.
According to provisional data available in CBN, total volume of transactions was 251.9 million in March, but dropped to 186.6 million in April.
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 per cent drop in transaction value. The last time Nigeria recorded payment transactions of less than 190 million for the payment channels 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 that rely on this platform to make transfers operated minimally. Cheque channels 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, and shopping malls. dipped by 26.2 per cent from N368.9 billion in March 2020 to just N272 billion in April.
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 2019 was N267 billion monthly. Nigerians spent more on food, medical supplies and household items during the lockdown period. Payment transactions are closely monitored by the financial sector participants particularly FinTechs as they form the basis for the billions of Naira in fees and commissions earned on transactions