E-Payments Surge in Nigeria, but Challenges Remain (Sept. 23, 2014)
Electronic payments are growing fast in Nigeria, with the total volume of e-payments reaching a new high of N10.85 trillion (US$ 62.2 billion) in 2013, according to data from the country’s central bank. In a speech this week in Lagos, Dipo Fatokun, director, banking and payments systems, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), noted that electronic transfer volume is growing at an annual rate of 190 percent since 2009. Fatokun credited the boom in e-payments to the rise in recent years of online payments, electronic funds transfers, payment cards and ATMs, all of which have gained footholds in the traditionally cash-dependent country.
Despite the growth, there remain challenges ahead. “The infrastructural issues remain daunting,” Fatokum said. “Fraud is unfortunately booming globally, and Nigeria is having her fair share, especially in the area of electronic banking. Consumer protection is also a key challenge for us, especially with the low level of sophistication of our people on financial services.”
A CBN measure to decrease fraud in Nigeria has moved a step forward this week, with the bank setting a deadline by which all banking customers in the country must use a biometric-based Bank Verification Number (BVN) by June 2015. A BVN will be required for all transactions valued at more than N100 million (US$612,000) as of March of that year.
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