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Rise of PoS transactions

Reports in the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) have shown that the value of transactions done on the Point of Sales (PoS) terminals across Nigeria has risen by ₦1.05 trillion in 2022.

The report contained in Business day 22 shows that transactions done on the PoS across the country rose from ₦3.56 trillion in the first 7 months of 2021 to ₦4.61 trillion in 2022.

According to the industry data, PoS transactions hit their highest levels for any 7 month period, increasing by 29% of ₦3.56 trillion and ₦4.61 trillion in 2022 and 2021.

However, a month-on-month analysis revealed that the value of PoS transactions dropped in April and June, after an ₦143 billion increase in March, 2022.

Similarly, the volume of PoS transactions from January to June rose to 679 million, a 25% increase compared to 543 million in the corresponding period in 2021.

In the first 7 months, PoS banking agents increased to 8.04 million, while registration increased to 11.8 million which was deployed from January to June, compared to 4.4 million banking agents and 6.8 million registered in the same period of 2021.

Increasing acceptance of PoS

The sharp increase in year-on-year volume and value of transactions indicates increased acceptance and use of PoS for payment for goods and services, the month-on-month decline reflects the seasonal effect on the level of spending across the country.

The data paints a clear picture of the increased interest in PoS as a means of transactions, especially with Nigeria’s continuous adoption of a cashless policy and the downsides of having to move around with cash and queue at the banking hall for withdrawals and deposits.

An interview with some PoS vendors indicates that the business is one of the lucrative ventures that makes an average of N10,000 to N300,000 or more daily.

One PoS vendor, Mustapha Iliyasu who runs his business at Rugan Madaki, Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, confirmed that the PoS business produces large amount of daily profit.

According to him, he makes more than ₦300,000 daily and pays ₦45,000 in monthly salaries to 5 employees.

“These depend on capital, location, number of transactions made within the day, week and month,” he explained.

A PoS attendant at the another location of the FCT, Umar Anas said though the business is competitive, it is bedeviled by lots of issues.

“PoS point, as a matter of fact, is now everywhere; [you] hardly find a street or area without PoS, no matter how little the area is, and sometimes, very close to each other,” he complained.

Mr Anas, however, noted that PoS systems are worthwhile because they are used in offering relevant products to customers, creating more opportunities for sales.

PoS compliments ATM

Experts say the growth of PoS transactions is bridging the gap created by the shortage in Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) deployed by banks, as many Nigerians now prefer to patronise PoS agents.

It is also an enabler for creating job opportunities for Nigeria’s teeming youths, who are facing an unemployment rate of over 42%.

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria 2019 National Financial Inclusion Strategy document, the number of banking agents rose by 517% to 236,940 in December, 2019, from 38,416 agents in December 2018.

Similarly, a total of 568,488 additional PoS terminals have been deployed over the last 9 months as the number of deployed machines stood at 915,519 as of December, 2021.

The opportunity to make an additional income is a major motivation for becoming an agent, a 2020 Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFINA) agent survey stated.

“Agents surveyed are signed up by different principals/service providers,” it said. “Nevertheless, First Bank (First Monie), OPay, QuickTeller, and MTN top the list of principals with a majority share of agents.”

Advantages of PoS

Expert Market in its February, 2022 publication, said POS systems are able to carry out tons of processes, with lots of them being automatic.

“The advantages of POS systems include better customer service, easier team management, increased sales and much more,” the publication said.

It, however, noted that “on the flip side, there can be some disadvantages, such as security risks, costly pricing and malware infections”.

Apart from PoS transactions, mobile transfers also followed the same trend as its volume in the first 9 months of 2022 amounted to ₦438.3 million, a 132.3% increase from what was recorded in the same period in 2021 at ₦188.7 million.

In terms of value, it recorded an increased rate of 152.9% year-on-year from ₦5.1 trillion to ₦12.9 trillion.
The volume of Nigeria Instant Payment (NIP) platform transactions equally rose to 3.6 billion in the 9 months, showing a 50% increase from 2.4 billion recorded in the same period, last year.

Correspondingly, from the NIBSS data, the volume of cheque transactions fell by 6.1% to 3.1 billion from 3.5 billion over the same period.

More persons are adopting e-banking

More consumers are shifting towards the use of electronic banking channels for financial transactions, says Gbolahan Ologunro, a senior research analyst at Cordros Securities.

“So, there is an increased use of digital channels for transactions and mobile payments,” stressed Mr Ologunro.

According to a 2021 Global Findex report by the World Bank, higher adoption of mobile money is driving the growth of account ownership in financial institutions, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries, like Nigeria.

The report showed that the country’s banked population increased by 15.6% points to 45.3% in 2021, the highest in 10 years from 29.7% in 2011.

It said: “Mobile money has become an important enabler of financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially for women as a driver of account ownership and of account usage through mobile payments, saving, and borrowing.”

In 2012, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the cashless policy, which was meant to curb the excessive handling of cash and curtail the volume of cash in circulation.

More importantly, the policy was introduced to drive the development and modernisation of payment systems capable of placing Nigeria among the top 20 economies in the world.

Over the years, NIBSS says Nigerian banks have exposed NIP through their various channels, including internet banking, bank branch, kiosks, mobile apps, USSD, POS, and ATMs, to their customers.

Writing by Abdullahi Lamino; Editing by Tony Okerafor