By Olubunmi Adeniyi
Lagos. August 1, 2012: Despite the growing deployment of Point of Sale (PoS) terminals by banks for merchants to facilitate the cashless policy in the country, the scheme is still hampered by low level of enlightenment by end users resulting in slow adoption, the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) has said.
NIBSS provides the infrastructure for automated processing, settlement of payments and fund transfer instructions between banks, discount houses and card companies in Nigeria. It is owned equally by all licensed banks in Nigeria, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) while discount houses operating in Nigeria also hold substantial shares.
Executive Director, Business Development, NIBSS, Christabel Onyejekwe made this observation recently at the unveiling of Oxygen Broadband service in Ikeja Computer Village.
Onyejekwe decries the slow pace at which PoS merchants are embracing the cashless policy initiative introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria to reduce growing dependence on physical cash for electronic alternatives.
“So far, the adoption of cashless policy in Lagos has not been encouraging if you compare it to the population of Nigeria and even Lagos. However, we just started, this was pronounced in August last year and as such I am sure that before the end of this year we would have made serious progress in this area”, Onyejekwe adds.
According to her, “the connectivity is a major issue affecting adoption of cashless policy and the awareness stream, you find out that most of the merchant are either not aware of what do with the PoS or how to operate the devices.”
While observing that this is a challenge to the successful operation of the system, she says that NIBBS in collaboration with CBN is organising free PoS training for most of the merchants to enlighten them on the fundamentals of its operation.
In Lagos State alone, the training programme has benefitted over 300 PoS merchants on the system involved in using the PoS devices.
She explains that the NIBSS had actually partnered with the telecoms firms on General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) and that they are looking at the issue of price reductions.
Also speaking at the event, Head of Sales, Main One Cable Company, Bola Ogundogba, says that there is need to have standardized infrastructure in the country if the cashless policy must be successful underscoring that it is very important that the financial sector and the technology sector collaborate to ensure successful implementation in Nigeria.
She adds that Main One Cable Company supports the CBN initiative, adding that it would go a long way to reduce risk attached to carrying cash, “but I think a robust technology is what will do this magic. Deployment of broadband and its facilities across the country will go a long way to boost this process and increase the efficiency of the terminals. We are already partnering with some operators, even small players, such as Oxygen Broadband that will increase Wi-Fi connectivity in the country to boost this process.”