Lagos – The Central Bank of Nigeria plans to roll out an additional 150 000 Point of Sales (PoS) terminals countrywide to boost its cash-lite policy campaign, CAJ News learned at the weekend.
Sources said this will double the number of PoS spread across the country, as other major towns and cities such as Abia, Abuja, Anambra, Kano, Ogun and Rivers will also come on stream.
Although the Director of Corporate Affairs at CBN, Mr Ugo Okorafor would not give figures, he nonetheless said plans were afoot to deploy more PoS terminals and ATMs.
"The CBN is also looking at expanding the scheme with the mobile money initiative... You know if people have access to these facilities, that is another advantage."
"The target of CBN with the initiative was to drastically reduce cost of currency maintenance, risk of carrying cash around among others. We have relatively achieved that in the phase 1.
"The second phase will see the Apex Bank explore adequately the deployment of more PoS terminals, ATMs and we shall also ensure and explore deepening the initiative through mobile money. More Nigerians need to explore that area. It is very strategic to succeeding.
"CBN is also pursuing Federal Government’s target of creating a robust financial system in the country with Vision 20:2020. The Cash-less economy is also targeted at helping government achieve this," Okoraforhe said.
Okorafor said the initiative is yet to be tested, adding that the national roll-out programme will start soon.
Mounting reports about poor connectivity have been blamed on network challenges, a Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) Plc report has revealed in the meantime.
The report titled Lagos PoS Adoption Survey, showed that about a quarter of respondents complained about network quality to PoS.
NIBSS said consumers were generally unhappy with transaction charges, merchants insisting on cash transactions. Additionally, some technical glitches were encountered with card reading/technical difficulties and lack of lack of cards or PoS.
The NIBSS called for an improvement in the level of coordination among banks, mobile operators, and existing payment networks, adding that interoperability across provider solutions (mobile, financial institutions, networks) will be necessary to drive mass market adoption.
NIBSS also suggested that there should be a partnership between it, the CBN and with mobile network operators.
It stressed that collaboration between the key regulators and mobile network operators will bring about efficiencies in processes; quick identification and resolution to network and connectivity issues and thus enhancing the merchants, end-users improved PoS.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN) Mrs Onajite Regha said the cashless initiative had impacted positively on Nigerians, but, lamented that connectivity to the PoS remained a major challenge.
"…The question is: how many of the PoS are working? We need to improve connectivity to these terminals to encourage the merchants and the consumers to use the devices for seamless transactions," she said.
- CAJ News