During the lockdown, some retailers refused to accept cash.
A payment option that has been so ingrained in our culture was suddenly "non-grata."
Indigenous physical retailers like Ebeano rejected it. And Jumia, an e-commerce platform, further encouraged online payments by giving a 10% discount if consumers used digital payment channels.
The change was not unique to Nigeria. A few weeks into the rapid spread of COVID-19, the World Health Organisation recommended going cashless [the use of less cash in an economy] to limit the spread of the disease.
Before the pandemic though, there had been a growing demand for cash globally. Only countries like South Korea and Sweden had a very low proportion of transactions settled in cash at 14% and 20% respectively, according to the 2018 World Cash Report (WCR).
But central banks across the world have been trying to go cashless. Their focus shifted to enabling new technologies