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E-Commerce, E-banking and the Nigerian Market

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In the wake of the second quarter of 2014, Nigeria was pronounced as the largest economy in Africa with GDP of $510 billion. Interestingly, unlike the much over-emphasised reliance of the economy on Oil, recent figures have shown the huge contributions of Telecoms, banking and the Nollywood film industries adding to the indices. With a closer look at the telecoms sector of the country also, it serves as a good platform for internet penetration in Nigeria which has now risen to about 62.4 million users as at 2013. Hence, the quantum leap in E-actives in most sectors of the economy.

The Nigerian banking industries are all now leveraging on this e-commerce platform to fully maximise their potential and the market is evidently promising. The use of E-banking/ payment platforms have been recently experienced a steep rise; even with the Cashless Policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). In this regard, recent figures from the CBN shows that the volume of Point of Sale (PoS) transactions increased astronomically from less than 2000 monthly as at January 2012 to 1.6 million per month in June 2014 while transactions in value moved up from N38 million per month in 2012 to N24 billion monthly. Also, Value of interbank transfers, captured through the Nigerian Inter- Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), jumped from N51 billion monthly in January 2012 to over N1.5 trillion as at June 2014

However, on the backdrop of these huge records arises the security challenges that come with Internet businesses in Nigeria. Regulatory bodies have come up with several anti-fraud tools like tokenization and encryption for electronic transactions, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) as well as the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA DSS). All these are wonderful measures, but the need for a robust country-complexity-specific IT solutions cannot be overemphasised. This brings software companies on the front burner yet again.