As Nigeria’s struggle with cash scarcity bites on, alternative payment options to cash are rapidly gaining popularity in the country. Although the traditional cash-based system has been the most popular amongst Nigerians and businesses, more people are exploring alternative payment options in recent times. Before now, some of these payment options had significant popularity amongst Nigerians and businesses as payment options, but many of them were sparsely used as a means of payment. Although Nigeria has experienced an influx of digital payment methods in the past few years, even maintaining a stance as a fintech hub in Africa, cash remained the most preferred means of transaction. But the recent struggle with accessing cash has seen more people exploring other payment options. Some of these payment methods offer secure, fast, and convenient ways to pay for gifts, goods, and services. Here are five alternatives to cash payment to use in Nigeria.
Mobile bank transfers
Mobile bank transfers are perhaps the most popular alternative to cash right now in Nigeria. With these bank transfers, individuals can transfer money or pay bills from their bank account to the recipient’s bank account, online, through mobile banking apps, USSD, or at ATMs. It is a secure and convenient way to make payments without the need for cash. Since 2004, mobile transfers have become increasingly popular. Although many banks experience technical glitches since the naira scarcity began, it still remains the most popular alternative for cash payment for different businesses.
Nigeria’s digital currency: e-naira
The e-naira, Nigeria’s digital currency, was launched in October 2021 to enable individuals and businesses to make secure and convenient online transactions. With the e-naira, users can make payments for goods and services, pay bills, transfer funds, and receive payments from customers without the need for cash as it has the same value as the physical naira. The platform uses advanced encryption technologies to protect users’ financial information and transactions. However, the e-naira has experienced little adoption since its rollout.
Online payment platforms
Online payment platforms have also become increasingly popular in Nigeria, with platforms like PayPal, Flutterwave, and Paystack leading the way. These platforms offer a secure payment gateway that enables individuals to make payments using their debit or credit cards or through mobile banking. This option allows gift-givers to send money to the recipient quickly and securely, without the need to visit a bank or retail outlet.
NQR is one of the most popular digital payment solutions in Nigeria. It is a platform that enables users to make purchases, transfer funds, and pay bills using their mobile phones. The system is secure and efficient, using QR codes to process payments quickly and easily. With NQR, people can scan and pay for items at both physical and online stores, making it an ideal alternative to cash.
Gift cards are a hassle-free and secure alternative to cash payments in Nigeria. They can be purchased from popular retailers and can be redeemed at the retailer’s store or used to purchase items online. Big retail shops like Shoprite offer gift cards to their customers, who then use the gift cards to make payments for purchases. Gift cards can be used to make purchases online, pay utility bills, and carry out other financial transactions.