The banking industry in Nigeria is essential for its increasing provision of financial services, products, and access. As of the fourth quarter of 2020, there were over 95,000 bank employees in the country. These employees directly or indirectly facilitate banking operations and introduce products to potential clients, including account opening, whether savings or current, and credit and debit card services. As of 2021, the number of active bank accounts in the country amounted to around 133.5 million, while savings accounts added up to approximately 120 million. To help ease access to banking services, there has been a growing trend in providing products and service locations. This includes new bank branch openings, as well as an increasing number of automated teller machine (ATM) and Point-of-Sales (POS) terminal installations.
Who are the key banking companies?
At the institutional level, banking performance can be measured with indices such as assets, tier one capital, profit, capital importation, and brand value. For instance, in 2020, Access Bank was the leading bank in Nigeria in terms of total assets, which amounted to around 22.7 million U.S dollars. Moreover, Zenith Bank was the main bank when considering total profit and tier 1 capital, as they totaled 604 million U.S. dollars and 2.3 billion U.S. dollars, respectively. Based on capital importation, Nigeria's Standard Chartered Bank was a leading company. In the first quarter of 2022, the bank facilitated the capital import of more than 540 million U.S. dollars.
Online and mobile banking penetration
The share of the population using online banking in Nigeria stood at only one percent in 2015. However, the penetration rate was expected to reach four percent in 2022. Generally, e-payment transactions performed in the country have proven to be efficient. In the fourth quarter of 2020, over 2.2 billion online transfers were issued, yielding a value of over 120.2 billion Nigerian naira (NGN) (around 283 billion U.S. dollars). In terms of mobile payments, approximately six percent of the population in Nigeria used mobile money in 2021. Additionally, mobile apps were used for over 124 million transfers in the country in the fourth quarter of 2020, translating into a monthly transfer volume of over 40 million.
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