June 13, 2024
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 Nigerian tier-1 banks raked in N392 billion from electronic business in 2023 as more Nigerians embrace cashless transactions. 

This amount was generated by the five top banks in the country comprising FBN Holdings, United Bank for Africa (UBA), GTCO Holdings, Access Holdings, and Zenith Bank.

According to their full-year 2023 financial results, each of the banks saw a jump in electronic business revenue for the year under review. 

Specifically, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) topped other banks in terms of revenue from this business segment as it raked in N125.5 billion in the year under review.

This represents a 59% increase in the company’s e-business income when compared with the N78.9 billion recorded in 2022. 

Access Holdings came second in terms of e-business revenue for the year as it raked in N99.1 billion from the business. The bank’s electronic transactions grew by 66% in 2023 from N59.6 billion recorded in the preceding year.  

Although FBN Holdings is yet to publish its audited financial results for the year, interim results released for the period showed that its e-business income also grew from N55 billion in 2022 to N66 billion in 2023.

This represents a 20% increase in electronic transactions revenue for the company. The figure may be higher by the time the company releases its audited financial results later this month.  

E-business income includes revenue from electronic channels, card products, and related services. These channels include mobile applications, USSD channels, automated teller machines (ATMs), agency banking, internet banking, and point of sales (POS) payments. 

While their figures are lower than those of UBA, Access, and FBN, the two other tier-1 banks also recorded growth in their e-business revenue for the year. 

Zenith Bank generated N51.8 billion from electronic transactions in the year under review. This is a 13% growth over the N45.7 billion recorded in 2022.  

GTCO Holding generated 40.8 billion as e-business revenue in 2023. This represents 8% growth over the N37.7 billion the company earned in the preceding year.  

Meanwhile, a look at the financials of other banks revealed that their e-business revenue has also been growing. FCMB, for instance, grew its electronic transactions income by 26% to N17.7 billion in 2023. 

Stanbic IBTC almost doubled its e-business earnings in 2023 as it generated N4.4 billion, an increase of 76% from the N2.5 billion it earned in 2022. Wema Bank also recorded an increase in e-business for the period, growing from N6.1 billion in 2022 to N7.3 billion in 2023.  

Fidelity Bank’s e-business income also jumped from N2.8 billion in 2022 to N3.6 billion in 2023, representing a 29% growth year on year.  

 A look at the operating expenses of the tier-1 banks shows that they also increased their spending in ramping up their IT infrastructure in the year. Access Holdings, for instance, increased its IT spending by 75% from N44.6 billion in 2022 to N78 billion in 2023. 

Zenith Bank also upped its IT spending from N30.9 billion in 2022 to N33.6 billion in 2023, representing a 9% increase. UBA, which recorded the highest e-business income spent N23.2 billion on IT in the year under review, an increase of 149% when compared with the N9.3 billion the company spent in 2022. 

GTCO Holdings spent N50.2 billion on IT infrastructure in 2023. This represents an 18.6% increase in spending when compared with the N42.3 billion spent in 2022. FBN Holdings’ IT spending figure is yet to be released. 

 

The growth in e-business income was driven by the increasing popularity of mobile and online banking in Nigeria. As more and more people use these channels to access financial services, banks are seeing corresponding increases in revenue. 

Commenting on the bank’s growing e-business revenue, the Chief Executive Officer of Chronis Technology, Mr. Kayode Joseph, said the growth in e-business revenue for the banks is an indication that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) cashless policy is having positive effects, not only on the banks but also on Nigerians.  

“Many Nigerians are now finding electronic transactions more convenient, and I think this is the impact of the CBN’s cashless policy, which has limited the amount of cash that can be withdrawn in a day. This is a positive sign for the Nigerian banking sector,” he said.

He, however, noted that the banks will need to invest more in their infrastructure to address the issues of failed transactions and secure their systems against fraud.

“Two factors that are still discouraging some Nigerians from embracing electronic transactions are the issue of failed transactions or network problems and electronic transaction frauds. If the bank can invest more in technology to deliver seamless transactions and secure their networks, they will see more growth in their e-business revenue,” he added

Meanwhile, the growth of e-business revenue for the banks is a reflection of the general growth in the electronic payment industry, where fintechs are also playing prominent roles.

According to the data released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), electronic payment transactions in Nigeria rose to N600 trillion in 2023, hitting an all-time high as more Nigerians embrace cashless payments.  

The value recorded on the NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) represents a 55% increase over the N387 trillion recorded in 2022.  

While the e-payment data shows a steady increase throughout the 12 months of the year, the highest value was recorded in December.

Being a festive period with lots of spending activities, Nigerians spent a total of N71.9 trillion over electronic channels in December 2023. This came as the all-time high monthly record on the NIBSS electronic payment platform.  

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