The total population of Nigerians using digital payment rose by 35 per cent according to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The Director, Monetary Policy Department, CBN, Dr Hassan Mahmud, said this in a presentation titled ‘Implications of trends in the digital financial ecosystem for monetary policy implementation’.
Mahmud, however, did not state the timeframe within which the growth occurred.
He said, “Nigeria recorded a high growth in digital financial channel utilisation, rising by approximately 35 per cent growth in the total population who carries out digital transactions.”
According to him, the growth in the use of other mobile platforms had been quite low.
While giving reasons on increase in current attention to digital payments, he said there was a potential of digital money replacing fiat currency as the predominant means of making retail payments.
Other reasons, he said, were the ability of digital currency to flow freely across international boundaries; fears that the emergence of digital money could distort money supply, alter foreign exchange rates, causing central banks to lose control over monetary aggregates, and the belief that the digital money ecosystem could improve the efficiency of monetary policy implementation among others.
Mahmud noted that the use of improved digital financial services could increase affordability of financial services.
He said that it could also address difficulties in accessing loans in Nigeria.
According to him, other African countries such as Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco and South Africa had more developed financial systems which had propelled digital financial services growth in the region.
He said that there was a fast growth in digital financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The director also observed the low usage of digital platforms by the public sector, reflected in low participation in this sector.
He observed persistent increase in percentage of population that transacted using the digital platform, and private sector embracing digital innovation in wage payments.
According to him, there is faster growth in digital financial services in Europe driven by advancement in technology in the region.
Relatively low usage of digital platforms by the public sector reflected low participation of labour in this sector, he said.
He also said there was persistent increase in the percentage of population that had made or received digital payments.