E-payment transactions in Q1 2021 rise 82% to N66trn 

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E-payment transactions rise by 325% to N704 trn in 2020

E-payment transactions rise by 325% to N704 trn in 2020

Banks grow e-payment income by 51% to N53bn

Account  maintenance fees up 60% to N30.9bn

By Babajide Komolafe & Elizabeth Adegbesan

Nigeria’s financial system has recorded further surge in the value of electronic payment (e-payment) transactions to N65.6 trillion in the first quarter of the year (Q1’21) indicating a whopping 82 percent Year-on-Year, YoY, increase from N36.02 trillion in the corresponding period of 2020 (Q1’2020).


Industry analysts have indicated that the development is connected to remote transactional relationship imposed on businesses and the general public by COVID-19 protocols which has already created a new normal in financial transaction.

Data on the four major e-payment channels released by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) shows that the surge is driven by a 80 per cent YoY increase in volume of transactions to 54.07 billion in Q1’21 from 30.04 billion in Q1’2020.

The e-payment channels are Point of Sales (PoS), NIBSS Instant Payment (NIPs), Mobile Interscheme and NIBSS Electronic Transfer (NEFT).

Also riding on the back of the surge in e-payment transactions, banks’ income from e-payment rose sharply by 52 per cent, YoY, to N53.4 billion in Q1’21 from N35.2 billion   in Q1’2020.

Growth dominated by Mobile Money Operators

Financial Vanguard’s analysis shows that the growth in e-payment transactions in Q1’21 was led by transactions through Mobile Money Operators (Mobile Inter-scheme), which recorded 100 per cent and 183 per cent growth, YoY,  in volume and value of transactions respectively to 486.36 million and N1.29 trillion in Q1’21 from 244.16 million and N451 billion in Q1’2020.

NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) transactions paired in volume growth and came second in value growth at 100 per cent and 88 per cent YoY increases respectively to 734 million and N58.85 trillion in Q1’21 from 366.9 million  and N31.24 trillion in Q1’20.

PoS transactions also recorded significant growth of 60 per cent and 48 per cent YoY increases in volume and value of transactions respectively to 223.45  million  and N1.49 trillion  in Q1’21 from 139.62 and N1.0  trillion in Q1’20.

Transactions through NIBSS Electronic Transfer (NEFT) recorded mixed performance. Though the volume of transactions fell by 12 per cent YoY to 4.47 billion in Q1’21 from 5.11 billion in Q1’20, the value of transactions  rose by 19 per cent YoY  to N3.96 trillion in Q1’21 from N3.32 trillion in Q1’2020.

Cheques sustain decline

The gains of electronic transactions have remained the loss of transactions with cheques, which maintained its downward trend, as the volume and value of transactions fell by 31 per cent and 23 per cent YoY  respectively to 1.24 million and N842.83 billion in Q1’21 from 1,8 million and N1.09 trillion in Q1’2020.

Banks e-payment income surges

As a result of the surge in e-payment transactions, Financial Vanguard analysis of the unaudited financial statements of ten major banks in the country shows a growth in e-payment income to N53.4 billion in Q1’21, a sharp rise by 52 percent from N35.2 billion in Q1’2020.

The banks are Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), Union Bank, United Bank of Africa (UBA), Stanbic IBTC, Sterling Bank, Wema Bank, Zenith Bank.

Leading  the  growth in e-payment income is Zenith Bank, which recorded 104 per cent growth in e-payment income to N11 billion in Q1’21 from N5.4 billion in Q1’2020.

GTBank came second with  56  per cent YoY growth  to N3.9 billion Q1’21 from N2.5 billion in Q1’2020.

In the third position is Access Bank with 55.7 per cent growth in epayment income to N17.9 billion Q1’21 from N11.5 billion in Q1’2020.

UBA stood in the fourth position, recording 51 percent growth to N12.5 billion in Q1’21 from N8.3 billion in Q1’2020.

Fidelity  Bank followed   with 42 percent YoY growth  to N743 million in Q1’21 from N523 million in Q1’2020.

In the sixth position is FCMB with 27 per cent growth in epayment income to N2.8 billion Q1’21 from N2.2 billion in Q1’2020.

Sterling Bank followed with  18 per cent YoY growth to N1.6 billion in Q1’21 from N1.36 billion in Q1’2020.

Stanbic IBTC recorded  eight per cent growth in e-payment income  to N745 million in Q1’21 from N686 million in Q1’2020.

Wema Bank recorded  five  per cent  YoY growth to N708.2 million in Q1’21 from N673.6 million in Q1’2020.

However, Union Bank  recorded   negative growth of  28 percent YoY  growth to N1.53  billion in Q1’21 from N2.09 billion in Q1’20.

Account maintenance fees up 60%

Also benefiting from the surge in e-payment transactions, income of the ten banks from current account maintenance (CAM) fees rose sharply by 60 per cent YoY  to N30.9 billion in Q1’21 from N19.3 billion in Q1’2020.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Guide to Banks Charges, 2020 allows banks to charge Current Account Maintenance (CAM) Fee of N1 per N1000,  applicable to current accounts only in respect of customer-initiated debit transactions to third parties and debit transfers/lodgments to the customer’s account in another bank.

Access Bank led the growth in CAM  with 183 per cent growth  to N11.02 billion in Q1’21 from N3.9 billion in Q1’2020.

Sterling Bank followed with  66 per cent YoY increase  to N655 million Q1’21 from N394 million in Q1’2020.

In the third position is Wema Bank with 63 per cent growth to N438.4 million in Q1’21 from N268.5 million in Q1’2020.

UBA  and Zenith Bank followed with 39 percent YoY increase  in CAM fees. UBA recorded  N3.2 billion in Q1’21, up from  from N2.3  billion in Q1’2020 while Zenith Bank recorded CAM fees of  N7.9 billion in  Q1’21 from N5.7 billion in Q1’2020.

GTBank and Stanbic IBTC both  recorded  27 percent YoY growth  in CAM fees. While GTB recorded N4.2 billion in Q1’21 up from N3.3 billion in Q1’2020, Stanbic IBTC recorded N1.4 billion in Q1’21 from N1.1 billion in Q1’20.

Fidelity Bank  recorded  22 per cent YoY growth to N899 million in Q1’21 from N735 million in Q1’2020.

Union Bank recorded  19 per cent growth YoY in CAM fees   to N483 million in Q1’21 from N406 million in Q1’2020.

On its part, FCMB recorded  12 percent YoY increase in CAM fees to N1.02 billion in Q1’21 from N911.5 million in Q1’20.

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