1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Cashless economy is an economy where transaction can be done without necessarily carrying physical cash as a mean of exchange of transaction but rather with the use of credit or debit card payment for goods and services. Omotunde et al (2013) posits that cashless economy policy initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is a move to improve the financial terrain but in the long run sustainability of the policy will be a function of endorsement and compliance by end-users which can which can be aimed at reducing bank liquidity risks. According to Tunde Lemon, the Deputy Governor of CBN, the CBN cash policy stipulates a daily cumulative limit of N150, 000 and N1, 000, 000 on free cash withdrawals and lodgments by individual and corporate customers respectively in the Lagos state since March 30, 2012. Individuals and corporate organizations that make cash transactions above the limits will be charged a service fee for amounts above the cumulative limits. Furthermore, 3rd party cheques above N150, 000 shall not be eligible for encashment over the counter with effect from January 1, 2012. Value for such cheques shall be received through the clearing house. All Nigerian banks were expected to cease cash in transit lodgment services rendered to merchants and customers from January 1, 2012. Omotunde et al (2013) further clarified that the policy through the advanced use of information technology facilitates fund transfer, thereby reducing time wasted in Bank(s). Wizzit, a fast growing mobile banking company in South Africa has over three hundred thousand customers across South Africa. Likewise, M-PESA was introduced in Kenya as a small value electronic system that is accessible from ordinary mobile phones. According to them, it has experienced exceptional growth since its introduction by mobile phone operator (Safaricam) in Kenya in March, 2007 and has already been adopted by nine million customers, which is about 40% of Kenya‟s adult population. Wizzit and other mobile financial services including M-PESA in Kenya are helping low income Africans make financial transaction across long distance with their cell-phones, thereby reducing their travel cost and eliminating the risks of carrying cash and also avoiding most banking charges (Akintaro, 2012).
Banks play a central role in all modern financial systems. To perform it effectively, banks must be safe and be perceived as such. The single most important assurance is for the economic value of a bank’s assets to be worth significantly more than the liabilities that it owes. The difference represents a cushion of “capital” that is available to cover losses of any kind. However, the recent financial crisis underlined the importance of a second type of buffer, the “liquidity” that banks have to cover unexpected cash outflows. A bank can be solvent, holding assets exceeding its liabilities on an economic and accounting basis, and still die a sudden death if its depositors and other funders lose confidence in the institution.
In banking, liquidity is the ability to meet obligations when they come due without incurring unacceptable losses (Odior & Banuso, 2012). Managing liquidity is a daily process requiring bankers to monitor and project cash flows to ensure adequate liquidity is maintained. Maintaining a balance between short-term assets and short-term liabilities is critical. For an individual bank, clients’ deposits are its primary liabilities (in the sense that the bank is meant to give back all client deposits on demand), whereas reserves and loans are its primary assets (in the sense that these loans are owed to the bank, not by the bank). The investment portfolio represents a smaller portion of assets, and serves as the primary source of liquidity. Investment securities can be liquidated to satisfy deposit withdrawals and increased loan demand. Banks have several additional options for generating liquidity, such as selling loans, borrowing from other banks, borrowing from a central bank, such as the US Federal Reserve bank, and raising additional capital. In a worst-case scenario, depositors may demand their funds when the bank is unable to generate adequate cash without incurring substantial financial losses. In severe cases, this may result in a bank run. Most banks are subject to legally mandated requirements intended to help avoid a liquidity crisis.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Banks can generally maintain as much liquidity as desired because bank deposits are insured by governments in most developed countries. A lack of liquidity can be remedied by raising deposit rates and effectively marketing deposit products. However, an important measure of a bank’s value and success is the cost of liquidity. A bank can attract significant liquid funds. Lower costs generate stronger profits, more stability, and more confidence among depositors, investors, and regulators. This is the first research that is examining the relationship between the cashless policy and bank liquidity in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
HO: There is no significant relationship between cashless policy and bank liquidity
HA: There is significant relationship between cashless policy and bank liquidity
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will cover the relationship between cashless policy and bank liquidity.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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