In the ever-evolving landscape of financial technology, Nigeria’s cashless ecosystem has experienced remarkable transformations if we benchmark this against where Nigeria was before 2018. Spearheading this digital revolution are innovative players like Kuda Bank and other digital payment platforms.
Their disruptive technologies and unwavering commitment to convenience propel Nigeria towards a future where cash is no longer king especially amongst the banked and underbanked population.
The recent policy of the Federal Government to adopt the new Naira design and swap cash in the run-up to the 2023 general elections resulted in some form scarcity of physical cash. This impacted the Nigerian economy and resulted in a major shift in behavior grudgingly from cash to cashless exchanges.
This shift, which started in 2020 due to the disruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown that followed which led to a significant increase in the adoption of digital payments by merchants and customers across the manufacturing, distribution, and consumption value chain. Kuda was at the center of this shift especially amongst the young people and the educated population.
Cashless payments are now becoming increasingly popular as more Nigerians choose fast and convenient digital channels such as USSD, mobile apps, ATMs, and POS terminals. The emergence of Kuda Bank and other digital payment platforms undoubtedly plays a pivotal role in accelerating Nigeria’s cashless ecosystem.
Digital payment platforms like Kuda are not only transforming individual banking experiences but also revolutionizing the way Nigerian businesses operate. By enabling seamless online transactions, these platforms have unlocked new opportunities for e-commerce ventures and small business enterprises. The cashless ecosystem has fostered growth in sectors like e-commerce, ride-hailing services, food delivery, and more. With increased consumer trust, simplified payment systems, and reduced reliance on cash, businesses are growing at an unprecedented rate, spurring economic development across the country.
The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) reported that in November 2022, transactions worth N38.9trn were performed electronically through its Instant Payment (NIP) platform, bringing the total value of transactions in the last 11 months to N345trn – the highest monthly transaction recorded so far. This represents a year-on-year increase of 50% compared to the N25.9trn recorded in November 2021.
In response to this, Kuda, the money app for Africans has launched a multichannel campaign dubbed ‘Cash Is Hard. Kuda Is Easy’ to raise awareness of the benefits of cashless payment solutions among existing and new customers.
Musty Mustapha, co-founder and CTO of Kuda explained that the campaign was designed to encourage greater usage of cashless payment features on the Kuda app and attract new customers seeking reliable cashless payment options. The campaign also aims to create awareness and educate users about the various cashless payment features offered by Kuda. For instance, Kuda customers who link their BVN to their profile receive 25 free transfers to any Nigerian bank or Fintech every month. Additionally, the Pay With Bank feature enables users to make online payments directly from their Kuda account on websites and apps that accept Paystack. When transfers and cards are unavailable, customers can also utilize the Pay with USSD option for convenient and fast POS and online payments.
Subsequently, to ensure the long-term sustainability of Nigeria’s cashless ecosystem, it is important to continuously monitor and evaluate the system’s performance. This includes regularly assessing the efficiency, security, and accessibility of digital payment platforms. Based on these evaluations, necessary upgrades and improvements can be made to enhance user experience and address any emerging risks or vulnerabilities.
Overall, continuous collaboration between different stakeholders, such as banks, Fintech like Kuda, telecommunications providers, and government agencies can create synergies, share resources, and collectively address challenges that may arise during this transition to a cashless economy and commit to making great efforts to widen access to cashless payment options for those in rural and underserved areas of the country which will lead to further growth in Nigeria’s cashless payment ecosystem, driving economic prosperity and enhancing the lives of its citizens.