Fintech, supermarkets top list of gainers of CBN’s naira redesign policy

While businesses and individuals have been lamenting naira scarcity, Digital banks and Supermarkets have been counting their gains as Nigerians battle the lingering Naira scarcity in the country.

Supermarkets and malls have recorded impressive sales growth as individuals now prefer to buy from malls where they can easily pay with their ATMs rather than go through the hassle of looking for cash.

Recall that in a bid to reduce the amount of cash outside the banking system, combat vote buying, as well as promote a cashless policy in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in October 2022 announced the redesign of N200, N500 and N1000 notes, as well as the phasing out of the old notes.

As a result of the policy, currency in circulation dropped from over N3 trillion to N1.39 trillion in just one month, while cash outside the banking system was reduced to N788.9 billion from N2.57 trillion.

Findings reveal that various malls such as Shoprite, Jendor, Justrite and many others have been overwhelmed with long queues because of the conveniences of using ATM cards to purchase goods in the malls.

Also, more Nigerians have switched to digital banks like Opay, Palmpay amongst others in recent times following downtime from conventional banking applications since the Naira scarcity crisis started.

While most banking apps have been overloaded with high traffic, digital banks have been able to onboard many users, thereby increasing their customers’ base during the crisis.

While banks suffer losses from the destruction of their properties by angry customers, their e-business has recorded a significant boost in the last two months and would have performed even better if not for the impact of application downtime and inadequate infrastructure.

According to data from the Nigerian Interbank Settlement Systems, transactions in the country surged by 45 per cent year-on-year to N38.7 trillion in January 2023, it however fell marginally to N36.8 trillion in February 2023.