The CBN introduced the cashless policy with a view of bringing the nation’s payment system to par with those of the global market. A cashless (cashlite) economy is when all means of payments are carried out without the use of physical cash. Payments will range from a list of options such as cheques, wire, transfers, debt and credit cards, online transactions, and mobile banking. The advantages of a cashless society are enormous; they include regulating, controlling, and securing the financial system of any economy. The new policy on cash-based transactions (withdrawals and deposits) in banks aims at reducing the amount of physical cash (coins and notes) circulating in the economy and encouraging more electronic-based transactions (Payments for goods, services, transfers, etc.). How does it work, how does it affect the church, and what are the benefits?
What is the policy about?
According to the Governor of the CBN, the policy, which aims at drastically reducing the volume of cash in circulation in favor of electronic forms of transaction, will help the apex bank achieve its objective of expanding, deepening, and modernizing the payment system in Nigeria. It is also expected to galvanize the CBN in ensuring that Nigeria ranks among the top 20 economies of the world in line with the nation’s vision 2020 aspirations and impact positively on growth and development. The CBN Governor argued that an effective and modern payment system positively correlates with economic development and serves as a key enabler for economic growth. From the regulatory angle, the policy implementations, create a more stable pricing system and curb the menace of inflation which is identified as a deterrent to the growth and development of any economy.
The reasons for the policy
The following reasons are not exhausted, but I will discuss some in this article.
Also, the huge volume of cash transactions imposes tremendous costs on the banking sector and consequently on the customer, in terms of cash management, frequent printing of currency notes, currency sorting, and cash movements.
Pros and cons of cashless policy
Mr. Ibu shared his experience with an ATM; he said he stopped using an ATM card after a recent experience at an ATM in Lagos, a state in southwestern Nigeria. He said that the automated teller machine deducted money from his account without dispensing any money, “I walked over to an ATM belonging to a bank different from mine, put the card in the machine, pushed the keys for the amount I needed and the machine debited, but no money came out.” He reported the incident to his bank and filed a claim. There are several reasons why this problem could have arisen; it could be the network or internet service provider for the ATM. Another likely problem could be the inability of the machine to communicate with the third-party financial institution.
Other challenges like resistance due to prevailing cash culture, distrust in the banking system, lack of clarity in communicating the content of policy, and lack of POS (Point of scales) at priority locations. However, the policy does not have its advantages which are as follows. It will help the government to optimize tax revenue collection, increase economic growth, and increase financial inclusion. For corporations, it will offer better access to capital due to shorter payment processing time, increase the efficiency of payment processes and accounting, reduce revenue leakages, and provide more efficient treasury management. For the consumers, it will provide faster and easier payments, increase convenience/access (more payment options), and reduce the risk of robbery.
Benefits of Cashlite World
After considering the information above, it is essential to enumerate some of the benefits of a cash society to believers. The word of God says all things work together for good for those who are called according to the purpose of God.
- The Cashlite system helps children of God to spend less. You will agree with me that the policy will to a great extent control the way we consume because if one is forced to carry less cash and to pay for goods and services through alternative means of payment, you will probably be discouraged from buying junk.
- Cashlite policy also encourages savings. Ordinarily, an average person desires to set some money aside to take care of some emergencies, the fact that it is no longer fashionable to carry a lump sum of money will encourage a saving culture among believers.
- The policy is good for churches, as it will reduce the incidence of fraud through temptation to steal, and also minimize armed robbery incidents against churches.
Alternative means of payment
There are various means of paying for goods and services without making use of physical cash, some of such various means are enumerated below.
Automated teller machine (ATM)
ATM is seen as a computerized telecommunications device enabling the clients of a financial institution to do financial transactions without the attention or presence of a cashier, human clerk, or bank teller.
The cashlite policy is good for churches as it would reduce mismanagement of fraud, armed robbery attacks, and several other disadvantages. The church is expected to lead by example and so if there is a policy to reduce the amount of cash we handle or carry about, there is no reason why we should not embrace it, the church can use POS machines for payment of tithes, donations, or any other money. The machines would debt the member and credit the church’s account. This policy has been generating a lot of controversy among the conservative citizenry. However, churches have to embrace the policy and blaze a path that others will follow either now or in the not-too-distant future.