Experts seek policy to drive PoS penetration


Inadequate investments in Point of Sales (PoS) terminals have been identified as one of the major reasons the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) Cashless Economy initiative is not connecting as it should.Nigeria currently has about 150,000 terminals, which have been identified as grossly too inadequate to serve the projected 180 million people in the country.

Besides, there have also been apathy on the part of users, who have become sceptical about security loopholes experienced while using it, and a host of others challenges.The implication of this is that the shortage of terminals will continue to encourage and fuel increase in cash transactions, which will in turn, continue to slow the expansion of cashless economy initiative.
   
In view of this, experts will gather on December 5, in Lagos, for the Q4 PoS Innovation Summit to proffer solutions to some of the attendant challenges. Announcing the event, the Managing Director, Global Accelerex Limited, sponsors of the summit, Tunde Ogungbade, said it has become important to promote and educate Nigerians on the necessary adoption and growth of PoS as a cashless payment channel for businesses in Nigeria.

  
“PoS, outside cash has been the adopted payment channel, and we owe it to Nigerians to sustain the security of their transactions. It is essential for us to come up with novel ideas to growth and adoption off cashless payments,” he stated.Ogungbade noted that one of the major determining factors that influence the choice of consumers when making payments was also the issue of security, “therefore, the industry has a responsibility to sustain soundness of the payment systems.”

He said: “Even as Nigeria has recorded about 80 per cent of transactions in retail shops carried out on PoS terminals, we have only 150,000 terminals in circulation compared to a country like Brazil, which has almost same features like Nigeria, but they have about 1.5million PoS terminals in circulation. There is need to innovate and encourage our consumers to continue to use these platforms, especially the PoS terminals to transact.”
  
“In a country like Angola where the GDP is small compared to Nigeria, they record a million transactions on PoS terminals per day, while we do not even record up to 500,000 transactions per day in Nigeria, because of the deficit in PoS terminals,” he added.Ogungbade noted that although newer payments options are being introduced daily, PoS still records the highest number of transactions for retail payments and “so the security of the platform is very necessary. It is not about card alone, the PoS can do Mcash and other things. Even in the foreseeable future, PoS will still be relevant.”
   
The Chief Digital Officer, Wema Bank, Dele Adeyinka, said alternative payment methods have become a necessity in every country of the world, and it is a shame that Nigeria has only 150,000 PoS terminals to serve its almost 180 million people.Adeyinka said there must be concerted efforts among stakeholders if cashless economy must thrive in the country.

Speaking on the challenge of poor network connectivity, Head, Customer Relationship Management (South), Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS Plc), Oladapo Adeosun, said the organisation is seriously working with the telecommunications operators to ensure effective services.

He revealed that NIBSS had even carried out a work targeted at measuring the strength of networks, as it relates to different areas in order to be able to solve connectivity challenges.
  
The organisers said the summit will converge all the stakeholders in the PoS value chain, to discuss and strategise in a bid to explore opportunities, and improve service delivery in the PoS business sector of the Nigerian payment system.
  
The theme for this edition, ‘secure PoS transactions,’ aims at strengthening PoS terminals as one of the safest means of paying for goods and services.Expected at the summit are: Director, Banking and payments Systems, CBN; Dipo Fatokun; Chairman, Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum, Peter Obadore; Managing Director, Digital Encode Limited, Tunde Ogungbade; CSP Ahmed Lateef from the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigerian Police Force; and CEO, Switching and Processing, Interswitch, Akeem Lawal and many others.

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