Nigeria, the largest market in Sub-Saharan Africa, is a cash-based economy, although many of the commercial banks such as CitiBank, Zenith Bank, UBA , Fidelity Bank, GT Bank, Bank PHB, Skye Bank, First Bank, FCMB, and Intercontinental Bank are leading an effort to introduce electronic payment systems in Nigeria. At present, most transactions are paid for in (Naira) cash. Credit instruments such as credit cards are in the early stages of use. A consortium of Nigerian banks has been rolling out and promoting a debit card system called “Smart Card” in major cities such as Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. Over the past three years, Nigeria has witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of ATMs deployed in major cities and commercial centers across Nigeria, such as Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Onitsha, Ibadan, Kaduna, Kano, Calabar, to facilitate local transactions.
The successful adoption of electronic payment in Nigeria encouraged the entrance of VISA and Master cards into Nigeria in 2004. Electronic payment facilitators from Europe and Asia also are investing in Nigerian electronic infrastructure projects. In addition, the successful conclusion of banking sector reform and consolidation is helping to fuel a rising interest in Nigeria’s stock market though there is lull in the market following the global financial crisis.