1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Payment systems have passed through a lot of ages. Prior to the 700bc, shells often were used in trade and barter and also cowries were introduced in Asia Minor. In Nigeria and other African countries, differently objects were used for payments. The objects were in form of cowries, coral beads, ivory, ornaments and bangles; and were used for payments. The early European traders mostly the Portuguese and Spaniards conveniently bought goods with cowries and manila. With the introduction of metal coins and notes in Greece and India between the tenth and sixth centuries Bc and thereafter dominated trade for 2000years, the era of cash as payment system emerged. In Nigeria, the central bank of Nigeria introduced the bank notes and coins in the year 1973. This was later followed by the use of cheque as written instructions to transfer precious metal coins from one holder to another .other written instructions such as credit transfer, standing orders, postal orders, bill of exchange, and travellers’ cheque have also been used. The next great age of payment system that followed paper instructions is electronic payments. Some payments are now being automated and absolute volumes of cash transaction have declined under the impact of electronic transaction brought about by the adoption of ICT to the payment system, especially in the developed countries.
The introduction of technology based payments has done a lot to increase the convenience of banks customers, staffs as well as the society at large (Kelvin, 2012). The Nigerian payments systems evolved from manually processed cash transaction’s to online and real time electronic payment system. This evolution is in response to growing commercial activities and the penetration and utilization of the cyber space and technology for commercial activities. Today paying and receiving money between buyers and sellers are not necessarily done through raw cash. Such payments can be made using e-payments channels such as automated teller machine (ATM), internet, and point of sales terminals (POS), mobile money solutions and so on and so forth.
Although, the use of these payment mechanisms are not totally free from problems often, customers experience delay in having timely access to the services provided through electronic channels (Olakah, 2012). One principal challenge in the use of electronic payments channels (EPC). Power problem is a monster threatening every business in Nigeria. A common ache in the use of e-payment device known as automated teller machine (ATM) is trapping cards for days by terminals thus preventing customers from making transactions until he or she is able to retrieve his/her card from the machine. Occasionally, the automated teller machine (ATM) may debit a customer’s account without dispensing cash to him/her, such case has to be reported or the customers accepts liability. Generally, in every electronic card based payment mechanisms, ” server down” is a usual slang, meaning that there is a network failure. When this occurs, the machine is temporarily unable to function properly or obey instruction given by the customers at the payments terminals.
The development of different electronic payment systems has helped to enhance the payment of cash in banks up to a limit of N500, 000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira only) daily by individual customers and N 3,000,000 (Three Million Naira only) for corporate customers without attracting charges except withdrawal is above the limit stated. The payment has also promoted efficiency in the clearing of financial instruments between the banks and Central Bank of Nigeria (2010). Despite the challenges attributed to the use of electronic payments devices, the devices have indeed provide relieve and convenience to the banking public, thereby promoting trade and commerce and helping to grow the sectors of the economy.