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Payment methods in Nigeria - statistics & facts

Despite the adoption of a wide range of electronic payments, cash is still king in Nigeria. The results of a survey conducted in 2020 show that cash is the most common payment method chosen in stores, restaurants, and similar. Indeed, card payments are still struggling to take off. Credit card penetration in Nigeria is very low for such a big economy. In a ranking of 137 countries worldwide placed from highest to lowest estimated credit card penetration, Nigeria was 118th. More recent data from 2020 show that almost three percent of the population in Nigeria own a credit card. Nevertheless, the percentage of people having an account with a financial institution is considerably higher.

When it comes to online payment, Nigeria offers a further interesting scenario. In 2020, some 27 percent of payments in online retail were made with cards. Cash and bank transfers were the second most common payment methods. Cash-on-delivery is also popular. Data regarding payments on Jumia, Nigeria's most popular online marketplace, indicate that most of customers preferred to pay by cash-on-delivery. To make payments on delivery, shoppers use the pay account of the marketplace and pay via SMS or QR code. E-wallets made up about 10 percent of digital payments in Nigeria. The most common e-wallet service providers were KongaPay and PayPal.

Mobile money represents a revolutionary reality in Nigeria as well as in many other African countries. It allows customers to receive, store, and spend money using a mobile phone. The service can be provided by banks, mobile money operators (MNOs), telecom companies, payment service providers, or similar. The service may be used for international money transfers to family, to pay utilities, smallholder farmers, provide humanitarian cash assistance, and for e-commerce. In 2019, Nigeria counted 15.3 million mobile money customers and 260 thousand mobile money agents enrolled. In the same year, there were 22 licensed mobile money operators (MMOs).

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Payment methods in Nigeria

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Mobile money



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