- Despite Challenges, ATM Transactions Hit N3.5tr in Nine Months
Despite several challenges confronting financial transactions done in the country via the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), N3.5 trillion deals took place through the 17, 253 ATMs spread across the country from January to September 2016.
An ATM is an electronic telecommunications device that enables customers of a financial institution to perform financial transactions, particularly cash withdrawal, without the need for a human cashier, clerk or bank teller.
The sum could have been higher but for many glitches associated with using ATMs in Nigeria, including network failures, frauds, and truncated transactions relating to the inability of the machines to dispense cash; and debiting without getting the funds.
Besides, the number of ATMs, according to market observers, is said to be grossly inadequate to serve an estimated 180 million people, as many areas are cut off from this quick teller machine services, leading to congestion at the available ATMs.
Aside from the massive investments that have gone into the deployment of ATMs across the country by the operators, the current challenges may as well be a dent on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cash-less economy initiative, which kicked off in Nigeria in 2011.
The CBN’s motive was to reduce cash-based transactions in the country by as much as 90 percent, however, the series of challenges as mentioned earlier might as well be a limiting factor to ensuring the success of the project, for which enthusiasm has waned considerably well in the country in the last one and half years. In addition, these limiting factors have also been identified as impacting the various investments that had gone into the deployment of ATM terminals across the country.
An unconfirmed report claimed that the banks might have invested about N390 billion on the acquisitions of ATMs in the country in the last three years.
The report however, gathered that as at 2015, the cost of ATMs is determined by their functionalities, which include mono-functional, cashless and multi-functional ATMs.
A mono-functional ATM is the type mostly deployed by banks in the country, which dispenses cash as well as carrying out other transactions such as payment of utility bills and cost $20,000. This type of ATM is the one mostly deployed by banks in the country.
Multi-functional ATMs whose cost is between $50,000 and $100, 000 are those that, aside dispensing cash, also accept cash deposit as well as cheque. There are few of this type deployed in the country.
Besides, cash-less ATMs, as the name implies, does not accept or dispense cash are but rather carry out electronic payment transactions only and it costs some $3,000.
The two major brands of ATMs deployed by the banks are NCR and Wincor Nixdorf.
A spokesperson for Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Lilian Phido, said on the telephone that the challenges currently confronting the technology in the country were not insurmountable.
According to her, “If you look back like five to 10 years ago, you will see that we have come a long way.
“All the challenges you spoke about are not peculiar to Nigeria, even in the developed countries you still encounter some of these challenges. Ours is peculiar because of our infrastructure issues, but I can tell you that we will get there; it can only be better.”
She added that banks had been told to improve their services with regard to the operations of the ATMs, noting that only the banks could determine how many ATMs they could operate in a given location.
The statistics from the NIBSS showed that between January and September, there were 414 million transactions from the about 29 million active ATM cards in the country.
According to the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) there are now close to three million cash machines installed worldwide.
Meanwhile, customers have called on banks to ensure their ATMs work efficiently and are loaded with cash in the New Year.
Most of the customers complained about their experiences during the Christmas period, which they described as very challenging.
A customer with UBA, who gave her name as Sidikat Sowole, lamented that she could not make any withdrawal with her ATM card at the bank branch located at 7 and 8 bus stop on Airport Road, Ikeja. “They should try and put their house in order this New Year holiday. Please, help me tell them.”
A customer with GTB located at Isolo, Malik Garba, said he no longer had confidence in the ATMs, adding “I now prefer to use my cheque book. Apart from the queues, the network is another issue. They should work on this. They shouldn’t allow their servers to go down this time around. The Christmas period was something else.”
While many banks are happy to do away with some workers in the categories of cashiers and tellers because of the ATMs, they have to improve their services in this regard or lose their customers who are frustrated. To encourage transactions through the ATMs, the CBN needs to be more efficient in ensuring that problems that arise over them are quickly resolved when customers complain.
Meanwhile, Point of Sales (PoS) services, according to NIBSS for the first three quarters of the year were worth N498 billion from 41.37 million transactions. While there are 140,281 registered PoS, those connected and active were 120, 042.
The PoS operators ride on technologies including Local Area Network (LAN), General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and WIFI to connect the registered terminals for operations.
NIBSS, which provides the infrastructure for automated processing, settlement of payments and fund transfer instructions between banks and card companies in Nigeria, is owned equally by all licensed banks in Nigeria, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
According to it, as at September 2016, there were four million mobile money customers in the country. While mobile money operation has 10, 070 registered agents, the total volume of transactions was 33.6 million, which culminated in N527 billion. The sub-sector has 21 licensed operators.
A further analysis of the statistics showed that as at September, there are 59.19 million active bank customers from the about 93 million bank accounts.
NIBSS claimed that Nigeria has 63.68 million active bank accounts; 25.39 million current accounts; 65.44 million saving accounts.
The number of corporate accounts is 12.38 million, while 75.12 million accounts belonged to individuals.
NIBSS puts Bank Verification Number enrolments at 26.35 million.
Though Nigeria is pushing for a cashless economy, statistics showed increase in cheque transactions, which can be attributed to the challenges associated with the ATMs and PoS. For instance, within the period under review, the banks processed 8.74 million cheques worth N4.31 trillion. NIBSS puts average daily cheques at 31,899.
The total number of corporate cheques processed was 4.34 million, which was worth N2.70 trillion, while the number of individual cheques processed was two million and value was N0.70 trillion.
In terms of web payments, there were 8.91 million transactions with total worth of N88.73 billion.
Farmforte, Others Signs MoU To Strengthen and Sustain Growth in Agricultural Sector
Farmforte Limited has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding with the Agricultural Fresh Produce Growers and Exporters Association of Nigeria; HYBR, a pan-African innovation firm; and ALTS, a consulting and strategy development firm.
The firm said in a statement on Sunday that the partnership would strengthen common interest cooperation and stimulate inclusive and sustainable growth within the agricultural sector, by capitalising on the synergy and comparative advantage offered by each organisation.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Farmforte Co-Chief Executive Officer, Osazuwa Osayi, said, “Our mid to long-term strategic goals are further reaffirmed, as this partnership will facilitate the sharing of knowledge, ideas, and expertise across the agricultural sector.
“We will collectively address initiatives and approaches concerning agricultural investments, food security, and the overall robustness of the value chain.”
He said the collaboration would also unlock the full potential of the sector and place it on a renewed path for success, especially within a post-pandemic economy.
The President of AFGEAN, Tajuddeen Dantata, said, “By creating dialogue and fostering investment in the horticulture sector, this partnership will endeavor to support Farmforte in its exporting efforts by improving operational efficacy and cost-savings, while ultimately driving socio-economic growth in the country.”
The Chief Executive Officer, HYBR, Charles Ojei, said to drive inclusion, sustainability, job creation, and Nigeria’s overall economic growth, the optimisation of the agriculture value chain was critical.
“This collaboration is a fusion of the complementary capabilities of all partners to move a bigger agenda forward.”
The Managing Partner, ALTS, Akintunde Sawyerr, said, “The goal of this partnership is to support Farmforte’s vision of becoming the largest agribusiness by 2035 via scalable and world-class innovation across its enterprise.”
OctaFX Launches Dual Life Campaign
International Forex broker, OctaFX has launched a socially conscious marketing campaign called Dual Life aimed at simplifying forex trading and helping Nigerians create wealth.
A statement by the organisation on Monday said that the marketing campaign would celebrate the superpowers of Nigerians who committed their time and efforts to two or more jobs and were successful at each one of them.
It stated that the #DualLifewithOctaFX campaign had influencers in the Nigerian lifestyle and entertainment space such as Toke Makinwa, Bovi, Denola Grey, Timini Egbuson, and others at the core of the engagements, establishing the other sides of the celebrities and influencers as entrepreneurs.
While speaking about the campaign, the Marketing Manager, EMEA, OctaFX, Ali Nwadike said, “We wanted to position forex trading as that activity young Nigerians and everyone else, can engage in, even while focusing on their careers.
“From findings, most young Nigerians today work two or more jobs to pay the bills and attain financial freedom. But, we don’t get to talk about this often or appreciate the efforts, hence the #DualLifewithOctaFX campaign.
“While some see their jobs as a burden, we want people to see it as an achievement; and promote the school of thought that says one, two, many jobs is not bad especially when you are trying to create wealth.”
Nwadike added that more Nigerians would be exposed to the beauty of keeping their regular jobs and careers while making more money from forex trading with the OctaFX Trading App.
The statement also affirmed that OctaFX had made necessary arrangements from assembling forex experts and compiling training guides in the simplest and relatable form.
AfDB Appoints Dr. Beth Dunford as Vice President
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has announced the appointment of Dr. Beth Dunford as its Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development. The appointment becomes effective from July 1, 2021.
A statement explained that Dunford, a national of the United States of America, brings extensive experience to this role. She has held senior-level leadership positions in the US government, where she managed large and complex programs, working with the private sector, civil society, and multilateral and bilateral institutions, as well as with African governments, to deliver agricultural, social and human development impact at scale.
Prior to her appointment, Dunford worked as the Assistant to the Administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, as well as the Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.
“In this dual role, she coordinated Feed the Future across multiple U.S. government agencies, oversaw a $1 billion annual budget and leveraged millions of direct private sector investment annually. In this capacity, she also coordinated a $2.3 billion Feed the Future presidential initiative across 11 US government agencies and forged partnerships within the private sector and civil society targeted at reducing hunger and poverty.
“She also led USAID’s technical and regional expertise focused on improving agriculture-led growth, resilience, nutrition and water security, sanitation and hygiene,” the statement added.
President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said he was delighted to appoint Dunford as Vice President to lead the Bank’s work on Agriculture, Human and Social Development.
“Beth is a strategic and effective leader with deep knowledge and impressive track record in designing and delivering highly impactful large-scale programs that have helped in lifting 27 million people out of poverty in 36 countries,” he added.
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