Nigeria’s Access Bank Group made ₦29.9 billion in income from its channels and E-business in the first half of 2021, a 37% increase compared to ₦21.8 billion 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.

Access Bank, which is the country’s largest bank by customer base and total assets, made about ₦56.09 billion from E-business last year, up from ₦36 billion in 2019. 

The surge in income can be partly attributed to more financially literate Nigerians adopting electronic and internet banking services, amid the growing trend of digital adoption since the Covid-19 lockdown.

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Access Bank became Nigeria’s largest bank after merging with Diamond Bank three years ago. Since then, deposits have grown to nearly ₦6 trillion from about ₦3.5 trillion 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, from ₦74.31 billion in 2020. 

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

Interest income rose by nearly 32% from ₦211.99 billion in 2020 to ₦279.64 billion, 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.

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