CASHLESS SERVICES IN NIGERIA
Cash is king! This quote is facing a serious threat as Nigeria is marching towards becoming a cashless society. The recent trends suggest that digital money will soon replace physical cash in Nigeria. Many countries are making active efforts to remove cash in circulation, Nigeria inclusive.
Nigerians do not have many or current cashless services but there are ways in which Nigerians pay cashlessly. Here are few of them.
Banking cards like Debit and credit cards are one of the most used cashless payment methods used in Nigeria. Banking cards come with various benefits like secure payments, convenience, and many more.
One of the biggest advantages of banking cards in Nigeria is that it can also be used for making other types of digital payments. For example, a user can store his card information in the mobile wallets or digital payment apps to make cashless payment. Moreover, banking cards can be also used in online purchases, PoS machines, online transactions, etc. There are many reputed names like MasterCard, Visa, and Rupay when it comes to banking cards.
Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is a cashless payment option for those who don’t have a smartphone. The USP of this method is that the user can make payments without a smartphone device or internet facility.
This method is mostly used in the northern parts of Nigeria where smartphones are rarely used.
In this method, the user must dial *99# to interact with an interactive voice menu via a mobile screen. However, to use this service, the customer must ensure that his mobile number is the same as that of the one linked with the bank account.
This service is pretty similar to the IMPS and it uses the MMID and MPIN with mobile number or account number with IFSC code for a successful transaction.
Mobile wallet apps
Mobile wallet applications are quickly gaining traction in Nigeria due to its fast, secure, and convenient payment methods. These are mobile applications which allow the user to send, receive, and store money.
A user can add or store money in his wallet by simply linking his bank account. Similarly, a user can also send money to his friends, relatives, or any other person by entering phone number, email ID, unique ID, or scanning QR code.
Moreover, a user can also make payments to merchants and pay various utility bills like water bill, electricity bill, mobile recharge, and many more directly from the mobile wallet app.
QR stands for Quick Response. It’s a two-dimensional code that has a pattern of black squares which are arranged on a square grid. QR codes are read by imaging devices such as smartphone cameras.
QR codes are widely used in Nigeria for making cashless payments in which a user just has to scan the QR code of the merchant service to complete the transaction.
Contactless payment is a convenient and secure method used in Nigeria which enables the users to purchase products by simply tapping a card near a point of sale terminal. The card can be simply a debit, credit, or smart card which is also known as the chip card that is based on NFC (near field communication) or RFID technology.
Contactless payments are extremely convenient as it doesn’t require any signature or PIN. Moreover, you can also make contactless payments via NFC enabled phones that are directly linked with mobile wallet. In this, the user has to simply keep his NFC-enabled phone near the reader to make the payment.
User can make payments via NFC-enabled phone at various places such as:
- Fuel stations
- Toll booths
- Parking garages
Gift Cards or vouchers
Gift vouchers are a great gift idea apart from being a handy way to go cashless in Nigeria. It enables the receiver to buy anything with the help of a voucher. There are also various stores that give discounts on gift vouchers.
Traditionally, PoS terminals are nothing but a handheld device present at the stores. These devices are used to read banking cards of the customers. However, the scope of PoS is expanding in Nigeria as these services are now available on various mobile platforms via the internet.
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