A total of 13.46 million cheques worth N6.19tn were processed by the banking sector in the 2015 fiscal period, figures obtained from the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System have revealed.
The NIBSS was set up by the Central Bank of Nigeria and licensed commercial banks and discount houses in 1993 to help streamline inter-bank payments and settlement mechanisms and promote electronic payments in the country.
The NIBSS, in its electronic payment factsheet covering January to December, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent, stated that in terms of value, the month of March with a total sum of N565.14bn recorded the highest amount of cheque transactions.
According to the report, the least amount of cheque transaction of N482.31bn was recorded in September, while January, February and April had N541.06bn, N548.12bn and April N510.42bn, respectively.
In the month of May, the report stated that the banking sector recorded a total sum of N487.93bn, June, N542.08bn; July, N533.05bn; and August, N483.6bn.
It said the months of October, November and December had a total cheque transaction value of N491.9bn, N479.2bn and N531.37bn, respectively.
Giving a breakdown of the volume of cheque transactions in the banking sector within the 12 months period, the report said that a total of 1.13 million cheques were presented by bank customers in January while February, March and April had 1.05 million, 1.06 million and 997,000 cheques, respectively.
In the months of May, June, July, August and September, a total of 1.01 million, 1.14 million, 1.33 million, 1.17 million and 1.14 million cheques were respectively processed by the banking sector.
In the same vein, a total of 1.18 million, 1.1 million and 1.11 million cheques transactions were recorded in October, November and December, respectively.
The Executive Director, Business, NIBSS, Mrs. Christabel Onyejekwe, had during an interview with journalists, said the company was working with the CBN to improve the electronic payment platform.
An improvement in the electronic payment channel, according to financial analysts, will reduce the volume of cash and cheque transactions.
Onyejekwe said, “Electronic payments have been growing significantly in Nigeria, and this is really encouraging.
“In December 2015, we recorded 18 million transactions for that month alone. This is significant because 15 million transactions used to be the highest.
“The growth in e-payment is interesting. For Point-of-Sale terminals, we have grown from just 5,000 active terminals in 2012 to 62,000 currently and this is very significant.”
She, however, lamented that out of a total of 120,000 PoS machines in the country, only 62,000 were active.
Source: The Punch