Key questions this article answers:

  1. One of the goals of CBN’s naira redesign policy was to encourage Nigerians to switch to alternative payment methods. With ₦2.1 trillion withdrawn from circulation (as of Feb 2023), are there signs that Nigerians are embracing digital payments?

  2. Kenya has been a mobile money success story. On the other hand, South Africans prefer card networks like VISA and Mastercard. What digital payment methods have claimed Nigerians' wallets?

Africa has a cash problem. It relies way too much on it.

Of the 1.2 trillion non-cash transactions made globally in 2022, just 2% came from the Middle East & Africa (which means that Africa’s contribution was less than 2%). Contrast that with other developing regions such as Asia-Pacific (48%) and Latin America (6%).

For context, digital payments include any payments made using digital means (i.e. debit cards, credit cards, BNPL, mobile wallets, USSD codes, QR codes etc.).

There is good news, though. African consumers are slowly warming up to cashless payments.

From the chart, we see a growing proportion of consumers in these African countries are using digital methods to pay merchants, top-up phone bills,