Cashless policy is the process of designating of financial transactions handled by means of credit cards, bank transfers, and cheques, with no money handed from person to person. While cash and cheques are still prevalent in some parts of the world, electronic payment mechanisms and especially, mobile payments are gaining consumer acceptance in many economics due to the high penetration of mobile phone technology (Herzberg, 2003). In addition, the cash policy aims to curb some of the negative consequences associated with the high usage of physical cash in the economy. According to CBN, the new cashless policy was introduced for a number of key reasons. An efficient and modern payment system is positively correlated with economic development, and is a key enabler for economic growth.
As a prelude to other parts of this study, this chapter will discuss the background upon which this study was initiated, the statement of problems that led to this study, the Aim and Objectives of the study. Others are Significance of the study, Scope of work, Research hypothesis and questions, Limitation of the study and Definition of technical terms.
1.2 Background of Study
The introduction of electronic banking, online transactions and mobile banking in Nigeria has paved way for a new era of development where the use and demand for physical cash is gradually declining. These recent evolution of technology in the Nigerian financial institutions posses interesting questions for economist, financial institutions, business analyst and the government regarding the current economical status, logistics, and availability of instruments to guarantee economic growth and stability, efficiency and effectiveness of the cashless policy.
Since the inception of humanity, various payment methods have been used to purchase goods and services starting with the trade by barter. The trade by barter method of transaction has been the foundation for the introduction of money and coins to solve the problem of double coincidence of wants and divisibility faced by trade by barter. The use of money/coins was introduced after the use of trade by barter method, and it has solved various challenges associated with trade by barter, but the use of money as an exchange medium has its own challenges and dis-advantages and can still be replaced with a better payment system-the cashless policy/banking.
Various advantages enjoyed by more developed nations such as the US has prompted the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to adopt the cashless policy. At the end of the 1980s the use of cash for purchasing consumption goods in the US has constantly dropped with inflation (Humphrey, 2004). Nigeria’s aim to be among the biggest economy by 2020 has driven her to gradually move from a pure cash economy to a cashless policy. Since Nigeria gained her independence in1960, there have been different constitutional reforms, change in economic and banking policies mainly aimed at stabilizing the economy, enhancing social welfare and enhancing economic growth and development.
In view of being one of the best and biggest economies in 2020, the CBN has started implementing the cashless policy/banking in some major states/cities in Nigeria such as Lagos, Kano, Port-Harcourt and Onitsha.
The CBN and Pro cashless policy activists have asserted reduction in crime rates, minimized risk associated with carrying huge sums of money, reduction in political corruption, reduction in banking cost, improvement on monetary policy in management of inflation and the overall growth and development of the economy of Nigeria as advantages associated with the implementation of the cashless policy.
Therefore, in Nigeria where the research was carried out, the activities that was conducted is to know the Impact of Cashless Policy on the Economic Growth of Nigeria.
1.3 Statement of Problems
Investigation revealed that monetary policy as a technique of economic management to bring about sustainable economic growth and development through cashless policy and banking introduced by the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) is not fully operational due to high rate of illiteracy, in-adequate sensitization/education of the benefits of the cashless policy, and in-adequate logistics (such as the provision of internet connections in commercial areas, computers and Point on Sale (POS) machines).
Apart from the physical challenges, economic data and indicators are not fully available and reliable. There is a great challenge in attempting to analyze the true impact of the cashless policy on the economy of Nigeria as only few monetary and macroeconomic indicators can be traced with relation to the subject matter. Several scholars have attempted to analyze the cashless system or e-banking. However, it becomes clear that few studies present a comprehensive evaluation of cash-less banking implications in developing countries.
Most ignore its economic benefits of the equation while some do incomplete examination of its negative implications. This is often due to unreliable panel data for monetary and macroeconomic indicators. Although, this study focuses on Nigeria, it is difficult to translate cashless studies from one country to another. Even payments instruments that look similar across countries on the surface may be different due to historical and legal variations (Daniel et al, 2004).
1.4 Aim and Objectives of Study
The aim of the study is to examine the Impact of Cashless Policy on the Economic Growth of Nigeria. In achieving this aim, the following specific objectives were laid out as follows:
- To examine the various challenges associated with the implementation of the cashless policy/banking;
- To examine the impact of the cashless policy on economic growth of Nigeria; and
- To proffer suggestions on how cashless policy and other monetary policies can be managed for better contribution.
1.5 Research Questions
The study came up with research questions so as to be able to ascertain the above stated objectives. The specific research questions for the study are stated below as follows:
- To what degree does Cashless policy has significant impact on the reduction of inflation in Nigeria?
- To what extent does the policy effect the Nigeria economic growth?
- What is the impact of the cashless policy on economic growth of Nigeria?
- What are the various challenges associated with the implementation of the cashless policy/banking?
1.6 Research Hypothesis
In order to pursue the objective of this study, the following generalized statements have been designed to guide and aids in obtaining the result for the experiment to be conducted. For this work, the null hypothesis will be represented with H0 while the alternative hypothesis will be represented with hypothesis H1.
- H0: Cashless policy has no significant impact on the reduction of inflation in Nigeria.
- H1: Cashless policy has significant impact on the reduction of inflation in Nigeria.
- H0: Cashless policy has no significant impact on economic growth of Nigeria.
- H1: Cashless policy has significant impact on the economic growth of Nigeria.
1.7 Significance of Study
The study will give various insights into the various implications the introduction of the cashless policy will have on the economy of Nigeria. Through examining various economic indicators such as the gross domestic product (GDP) and inflation, the study will examine and compare growth trends and changes to determine whether the cashless policy introduced by the CBN has a negative or positive effect on the economy of Nigeria. Various challenges and prospects identified in the study will also enable various stakeholders to tackle these challenges effectively by making policies that will address them and boost the economy of Nigeria.
This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.
1.8 Scope of Study
The scope of the research is focused on the Impact of Cashless Policy on the Economic Growth of Nigeria. In pursuance of the objective of the study; attention shall be focused on electronic banking among other electronic commerce implementation.
In order to conduct an empirical investigation into the adoption of Electronic banking in Nigeria and will also examine the nature of electronic banking operations from the CBN bulletin from 2010-2012.
1.9 Limitations of the Study
During the course of this study, many things militated against its completion, some of which are:
- Time Constraint: The time frame given to accomplish this project was very short due to school academic calendar and it was carried out under pressure which made the researcher not to implement some necessary features.
- Research material: availability of research material is a major setback to the scope of the study.
- Frequent power failure: This made the researcher append more money on fuel to ensure sustainable power.
- Financial Constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
1.10 Definition of Terms
Cashless: Designating of financial transactions handled by means of credit cards, bank transfers, and cheques, with no money handed from person to person.
Access Products: Products that allow consumers to access traditional payment instrument electronically, generally from remote locations
ATM Card: An ATM (Automated Teller Machine) card is also known as a bank card, client card, key card, or cash card, is a payment card provided by a financial institution to its customers which enables the customer to use an automated teller machine (ATM) for transactions such as: deposits, cash withdrawals, obtaining account information, and other types of banking transactions, often through interbank networks.
CBN: Central Bank of Nigeria.
Chip Card: Also known as an integrated circuit (IC) Card. A card containing one or more computers chips or integrated circuits for identification, data storage or special purpose processing used to validate personal identification numbers, authorize purchases, verify account balances and store personal records.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): The transfer of information between organizations in machine readable form.
Electronic Money: Monetary value measured in currency units stored in electronic form on an electronic device in the consumer’s possession. This electronic value can be purchased and held on the device until reduced through purchase or transfer.
Internet Banking: This is a product that enables the Bank leverage on the Internet Banking System Module in-built on the new Banking Application (BANKS) implemented by the Bank to serve the Internet Banking needs of the Bank’s customers.
Mobile Banking: This is a product that offers Customers of a Bank to access services as you go. Customer can make their transactions anywhere such as account balance, transaction enquiries, stop checks, and other customer’s service instructions, Balance Inquiry, Account Verification, Bill Payment, Electronic fund transfer, Account Balances, updates and history, Customer service via mobile, Transfer between accounts etc.
Payment System: A financial system that establishes that means for transferring money between suppliers and of fund, usually by exchanging debits or Credits between financial institutions.
Point Of Sale (P05) Machine: A Point-of-Sale machine is the payment device that allows credit/debit cardholders make payments at sales/purchase outlets. It allowed customers to perform the following services Retail Payments, Cashless Payments, Cash Back Balance Inquiry, Airtime Vending, Loyalty Redemption, Printing mini statement etc.
Smart Card: A Card with a computer chip embedded, oh which financial health, educational, and security information can be stored and processed.
Transaction Alert: Our customers carry out debit/credit transactions on their accounts and the need to keep track of these transactions prompted the creation of the alert system by the Bank to notify customers of those transactions. The alert system also serves as notification system to reach out to customers when necessary information need to be communicated.
Western Union Money Transfer (WUMT): Western union Money transfer is a product that allowed people with relatives in Diaspora who may be remitting money home for family up-keep, Project financing, School fees etc. Nigerian Communities known for having their siblings gainfully employed in other parts of the world are idle markets for Western Union Money Transfer.