Of all the African countries in this report, Nigeria has the most developed IP scheme. Though only launched in 2011 — and considering it has a limited number of payment types and initiation methods (one for each) — IP has strong adoption in the Nigerian market compared to other electronic payment types. Growth is expected to continue well into the future.

Nigeria’s IP system is run by NIBSS Instant Payments (NIP) — an interbank account-to-account IP system that allows users to make transfers 24/7/365 via internet and mobile banking, bank branches, kiosks, mobile USSD, POS terminals and ATMs. NIP supports P2P, B2B, C2B and B2C payments and is available for both retail and corporate customers, with maximum daily transaction limits set at NGN5m ($13,752) for individuals and NGN10m ($27,504) for corporates.

NIBSS also offers E-BillsPay, an account number-based, online and real-time credit transfer service for consumers to make payments of their utility bills, government fees, penalties, airtime and subscriptions.

In 2018, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced a regulation intended to ensure customer security and limit fraud within IP. The regulation stipulates that if a complaint is registered against a transaction and the charge is not reversed into the reporting customer’s account within 24 hours, the receiving or sending entity could receive a fine of NGN10,000 ($28). This demonstrates the central support that has propelled IP in Nigeria, contributing to its 57% YOY growth.



  • Consumers
  • Banks
  • Merchants
  • Billers

Domestic banks


Population banking level


Number of debit, credit and charge cards per adult


Index to global average



Key statistics


IP launch year

Immediate payments types

Single instance

Initiation & authorization

Bank account

ISO 20022

Message standard









% of adults who have a mobile wallet and have used it in the past year

Share of volumes by payments instrument



Spend (USD)

  • Paper-based payments
  • Electronic payments
  • Immediate payments

Immediate payments volume and its share in overall non-paper-based transactions, 2014-24f

% of total electronic payments transaction volume


Nigeria’s IP market has made strong traction since its launch in 2011, now comprising more than 50% of all electronic payments made in the country. However, purely from a transactional volume perspective, cash still reigns as the most popular method. Though in looking at the relationship of transaction to spend volumes, it’s clear that cash is primarily selected for routine, inexpensive payments.

The country’s IP adoption and usage is hindered by a large unbanked population who likely do not have the requisite access to make IP. In fact, as of 2019, over 50% of Nigerians are unbanked. To address this gap in financial inclusion, the CBN has undertaken a payments modernization initiative launching payment service banks (PSB) which will make basic banking services available to the unbanked population. One of the primary goals in launching PSB is to reduce cash dependence in the market. As one of the basic banking services offered will be cash deposits, cash in circulation is anticipated to decrease, driving a shift toward electronic payments.

Given this upcoming initiative and the CBN’s 2018 regulation which increased security and consumer confidence — and the fact that the market features wide acceptance among banks, billers and merchants — there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about Nigeria’s IP future.

ACI’s take

In Nigeria, the catalyst for IP was the introduction of the NIP, which became the Nigerian financial industry’s preferred funds transfer platform. Analysis of transactional data flowing through NIBSS today shows that it is assisting the growth of financial inclusion, addressing the nation’s unbanked population and powering the continued adoption of IP.

As many as 12.7 million Nigerians conduct IP transactions in the country. If the NIBSS services can be extended to the rural areas of Nigeria, as is planned under the CBN initiative, then at least another 37% of the population will have access. This will go a long way to supporting the elimination of cash from Nigerian society.

Recent investments in payment companies by outside players will also continue the trend towards electronic payments, of which IP is one.


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