Nigerians are being forced to go cashless as the value of transactions over Point of Sales (PoS) machines in Nigeria jumped to N1.1 trillion in March, 2023, the highest in months.

Year on year, the March figure shows a 60 per cent increase when compared with the N718.5 billion recorded in the same month last year, according to latest statistics released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

Similarly, the volume of transactions on PoS also rose to 177.9 million in the month under review. This represents a 72.8 per cent increase when compared with the 102.9 million recorded in March 2022.

The NIBSS data shows that Nigerians in the first 3 months of this year had spent a total of N2.8 trillion over PoS.

Aside from the recent cash scarcity, the growth of PoS transactions in Nigeria is being driven by many factors, part of which include rapid adoption by merchants for receiving payments.

Also, the number of Point of Sales (PoS) machines deployed by merchants and individuals across Nigeria rose to 1.8 million in March this year, representing a 75 per cent year on year compared with the number of deployed terminals in the same period last year, which was 1.04 million.

The March 2023 figure indicated that 776 089 new PoS terminals were deployed in the last 12 months. This is, however, still lower than the total registered terminals.

According to the NIBSS data, a total of 2.329 million PoS machines had been registered across the country as of December 2022, which shows that a total of 504,572 terminals are either yet to be deployed or have become inactive.

Meanwhile, Fitch Solutions, the research arm of credit rating agency, Fitch ratings, has predicted that Nigeria’s economy will grow by only 2.3 percent this year, down from 3.1 percent in 2022 as a result of the Naira scarcity crisis.

In its Africa Monthly Outlook report released on its website, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) decision to demonetise high-value banknotes had created acute cash shortages in the first quarter of 2023, severely disrupting commercial operations and preventing payments.

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