IMPACT OF CASHLESS POLICY ON THE NIGERIA ECONOMY

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study   

          The recent evolution of technology for financial transactions poses interesting questions for policy makers and financial institutions regarding the suitability of current institutional arrangements and availability of instruments to guarantee financial stability, efficiency and effectiveness of monetary policy. Over the course of history, different forms of payment systems have been in existence. Initially, ‘trade by barter’ was common; however, the problems of barter such as the double coincidence of wants necessitated the introduction of various forms of money (Swartz et al, 2004). Nevertheless, analysts have been predicting the complete demise of study instruments and the emergence of potentially superior substitute for cash or monetary exchanges, that is, ‘cashless society’.

Unlike the barter system which involves the exchange of one good for another, a cashless environment refers to one in which transactions are carried out with minimal exchange of physical cash. It implies that the payment instrument is not physical cash but other instruments such as cheques, electronic transfers, e-payment and so on. The rapid advancement in electronic distribution channels has produced tremendous changes in the financial industry in recent years, with an increasing rate of change in technology, competition among players and consumer needs as argued (Hughes, 2001). Since Nigeria‘s Independence in 1960, there have been different governments, constitutional reforms, change in economic policies and banking reforms, mainly directed at enhancing social welfare and achieving developmental goals but there has been no substantial positive change in Nigeria‘s Human Development Indicators.
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