Banks reg­is­tered 11,506 new POS ter­mi­nals in first quar­ter

The Punch - - INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY - Sto­ries: Ife Ogun­fuwa

Ato­tal of 17,193 point of sales ter­mi­nals were reg­is­tered by banks for cash­less trans­ac­tions across the coun­try in the first three months of the year.

This brings the to­tal num­ber of reg­is­tered POS ter­mi­nals in the coun­try to 199,999 as of the end of March 2018, in­dus­try statis­tics from the Nige­ria In­ter-bank Set­tle­ment Scheme have shown.

In Jan­uary, about 5,687 new ter­mi­nals were reg­is­tered by Nige­rian banks; in Fe­bru­ary, 3,921 ter­mi­nals were reg­is­tered; and 7,585 POS ter­mi­nals were reg­is­tered in March.

How­ever, only 14,844 new ter­mi­nals were de­ployed for cash­less trans­ac­tions within the first three months of the year, bring­ing the to­tal num­ber of ac­tive POS to 170,306 as of the end of March.

In ad­di­tion, the value of trans­ac­tions on these ter­mi­nals also grew in re­la­tion to in­creas­ing num­ber of ter­mi­nals in cir­cu­la­tion. In Jan­uary 2018, trans­ac­tions worth N152.099bn were car­ried out, an amount which is 66.61 per cent higher than the N91.29bn recorded in Jan­uary 2017.

In Fe­bru­ary 2018, the value of trans­ac­tions grew by 60.61 per cent from N90.2bn in the pre­vi­ous year to N144.88bn this year.

In March 2018, trans­ac­tions worth N177.76bn were con­ducted, an amount which is N70.14bn higher than the N104.48bn recorded in the pre­vi­ous year.

The Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Global Ac­cel­erex, Mr. Kay­ode Ariyo, at­trib­uted the in­creased de­ploy­ment of the POS to the high level of ac­cep­tance of elec­tronic pay­ment in the coun­try.

He said there was a new trend in which mer­chants were re­quest­ing for the POS ter­mi­nals con­trary to what ob­tained when the ter­mi­nals were just in­tro­duced in which re­tail­ers had not dis­cov­ered its value.

He said, “The ma­jor fac­tor that has con­trib­uted to that is the ac­cep­tance. Peo­ple are get­ting more com­fort­able with the card pay­ment. The adop­tion of elec­tronic pay­ment is on the in­crease by con­sumers. Re­tail­ers and mer­chants have come to terms with it. In the past, we had to ap­peal to mer­chants to use the POS chan­nel. But now, we have a trend where mer­chants are the ones call­ing and ask­ing for POS ter­mi­nals.”

Ac­cord­ing to him, the pay­ment cards used in Nige­ria are bet­ter se­cure than those in other climes due to the ab­sence of mag­netic strip on them.

“We have cards with bet­ter se­cu­rity in Nige­ria than other places. The mag­netic strip which is more vul­ner­a­ble to theft is not al­lowed by law on the POS. That func­tion is dis­abled on Nige­rian POS that has greatly helped. The in­for­ma­tion does not re­side on the card. There is an en­hanced se­cu­rity fea­ture on the cards is­sued by banks to­day,” Ariyo added.

While ac­knowl­edg­ing the sig­nif­i­cant growth of the POS pay­ment sys­tem in Nige­ria re­cently, the Di­rec­tor, Bank­ing and Pay­ments Sys­tem, cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria, Mr. Dipo Fa­tokun, urged banks to carry out risk rat­ings on prospec­tive mer­chants.

He said, “It is es­sen­tial that we con­tinue to con­duct nec­es­sary due dili­gence on any mer­chant to be ex­tended to a POS ter­mi­nal. Banks must know the busi­nesses of their re­spec­tive mer­chants and carry out ap­pro­pri­ate risk rat­ings, while ac­quir­ers and is­suers must im­ple­ment fraud mon­i­tor­ing tools on both is­su­ing and ac­quir­ing sites of their busi­nesses.”

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