Nigeria’s Access Bank Group made ₦29.9 billion ($73 million) in income from its channels and E-business in the first half of 2021, a 37% increase compared to ₦21.8 billion ($53 million) in the same period in 2020.

The bank’s Channels and other E-business income include earnings from electronic channels, card products, and related services. The disclosure was made in its interim financial results for the six months to June 30, which was released on Friday.

The E-business income contributed about 40.5% of earnings from fees and commission, which reached ₦73.7 billion in H1 2021, and about 7% of gross earnings. The report, however, did not indicate any reason for the rise in earnings from electronic channels.

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Access Bank became Nigeria’s largest bank by customer base and total assets after merging with Diamond Bank three years ago. Since then, deposits have grown to nearly ₦6 trillion ($15 billion) from about ₦3.5 trillion ($8.5 billion) in 2018 when talks about the merger began to surface.

The H1 2021 financial report also shows a 31.21% rise in profit before tax to ₦97.50 billion ($238 million), from ₦74.31 billion ($181 million) in 2020. 

Gross earnings stood at ₦450.62 billion ($1.099 billion) for the first half of the year, a 13.58% increase from ₦396.77 billion ($968 million) in H1 2020.

Interest income rose by nearly 32% from ₦211.99 billion ($517 million) in 2020 to ₦279.64 billion ($682 million), while its earnings per share increased by 43.35% year-on-year from ₦1.73 to ₦2.48.

Even with the growing adoption of electronic payment systems, Nigeria remains a predominantly cash-based economy. A number of challenges hinder mass adoption, still, the future holds opportunities for online payment service providers and companies like banks in the country.

*Conversions were done using the official exchange rate of ₦410/$1

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Michael Ajifowoke | Author

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