NINE banks have a total of N215.60 billion as income from electronic banking transactions in 2021.
Electronic banking income represents earnings from transactions processed via electronic channels such as automated teller machines (ATM), point-of-sale (POS) and mobile banking, as well as credit and debit card transactions.
The institutions whose financial reports were assessed are Access Bank, Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO), United Bank for Africa (UBA), Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Jaiz Bank, Sterling Bank, Wema Bank and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc.
The banking firms collectively made an e-banking income of N215.60 billion between January and December 2021, compared to the sum of N159.17 billion they earned in the corresponding period of 2020.
Analysis of the full-year financial reports of the nine firms from the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) indicated that the figure increased in 2021 by N56.42 million, representing a 35.45 per cent leap.
Access Bank ranked the highest, recording N66.28 billion as e-business income in 2021, compared to N56.09 billion in 2020. UBA earned N64.59 billion as e-banking income in 2021, as against N44.24 billion in the corresponding year and Zenith Bank received N37.47 billion as e-products income, compared to N27.07 billion in 2020, while GTCO made N21.08 billion as e-business income in 2021, up from N11.77 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.
FCMB realised N12.82 billion as electronic and commission fees income in 2021 as against N8.61 billion in 2020, Sterling Bank made N6.82 billion from ebusiness in 2021 compared to N5.96 billion in the corresponding year; Stanbic IBTC Holdings earned N3.69 billion in e-banking in 2021, up from N2.73 billion in 2020; Wema Bank made N2.63 billion from electronic products in 2021 compared to N2.60 billion in 2020; and Jaiz Bank accumulated N197.75 million from e-business in 2021, as against N68.05 million in the corresponding period of 2020.
A report by a group, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), however, pointed out that some of the e-channels provided by banking institutions were unreliable.
In its report titled, ‘Measuring Fees and Transparency in Nigeria’s Digital Financial Services’, IPA said the product reliability of the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) services and the mobile app were placed at 58 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.
“Many products were unreliable, with high transaction failure rates, especially for transactions conducted via USSD,” the report read.
It also argued that the pricing of e-channel platforms was inconsistent and difficult to ascertain for consumers. The inability to have fixed rates led to consumers regularly paying fees exceeding the caps set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“Despite a mandate for free account opening, more than half of providers we audited charged a mandatory ‘ATM fee’ that was necessary to begin using the account. Eleven per cent of transfers conducted via the USSD also exceeded CBN fee caps,” the report stated.
Meanwhile, a 2020 National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data on the banking sector showed that online transfers dominated the volume of transactions recorded in electronic payment channels. According to the report, 2,227,449,949 volume of online transfer transactions valued at N120.27 trillion was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020, being the highest for that year.
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