‘Digital payments boost Nigeria’s economy with $3.3b’

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The widespread uptake of new digital and real-time payments services in Nigeria has helped to unlock $3.2 billion of additional economic output last year, representing 0.67 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) last year.

This boost from digital payment adoption is also forecast to rise to $6 billion by 2026 (1.01per cent of the GDP, thus driving growth and financial inclusion at unprecedented levels for the largest African economy, the third Prime Time for Real-Time, published by ACI Worldwide, in partnership with GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) released yesterday showed.

The report, however, showed that payments fraud remained high as one in four consumers in Nigeria was a victim of fraud last year. 27 per cent fell victim to a confidence trick, 14.3 per cent had their card details stolen

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The report, which tracks real-time payments volumes and growth across 53 countries – includes an economic impact study for the first time, providing a comprehensive view of the economic benefits of real-time payments for consumers, businesses, and the broader economy across 30 countries.

The report showed Nigeria as Africa’s undisputed real-time and digital payments leader. The country recorded 3.7 billion real-time transactions in 2021 – ranking sixth in the league table of the world’s most developed real-time payments markets – behind India, China, Thailand, Brazil, and South Korea. The widespread uptake of new digital and real-time payments services in Nigeria helped unlock $3.2 billion of additional economic output in 2021, representing 0.67 per cent of the country’s GDP.

In 2026 real-time transactions are forecast to rise 8.8 billion in 2026, a five-year Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.6per cent. This will help unlock $6billion of additional GDP in 2026, representing 1.01per cent of the country’s GDP. This means Nigeria ranks in fourth place among the world’s economies realizing the maximum economic benefits of real-time payments.

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Speaking on the report, Head, Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, ACI Worldwide, Santhosh Rao, said:  “Nigeria is fast becoming a poster child across Africa for the successful digital transformation of the country’s economy.’’

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Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerians expect higher speeds, greater simplicity, and modern thinking from financial service providers.

 While cash is still being used widely, the shift towards greater adoption of digital and real-time payments services is testament to the success of government regulators in fostering rapid growth in digital openness, particularly payments.”

The rapid growth has also been propelled by key players in the country’s payments industry. One of these players, Interswitch Group, a leading payments technology company, has been actively driving revolutionary payment innovation in Nigeria for 20 years.


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