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Value of PoS deals grows by 50% to N3.01trn

…records decline in monthly transaction …deployment rises by 67.1 per cent

The value of transactions through Point of Sale (PoS) terminals across the country in the first six months of this year stood at N3.01trillion, data obtained from the Ni-geria Interbank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) and the latest Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) report, shows. This represents 50.02 per cent increase compared with the N2.03 trillion recorded value of transactions through PoS terminals in the first half of 2020.

However, New Telegraph’s analysis of the data shows that the value of PoS transactions dropped for the third consecutive month to stand at N503.91billion in June this year. Specifically, from N531.38billion in March (the highest recorded so far this year) the value of PoS transactions fell to N507.86billion and N503.96billion in April and May respectively. Indeed, from a peak of N574.37billion in December last year, the value of PoS transactions dropped to N489.24billion and N468.9billion in January and February respectively.

The decline in the value of PoS transactions in recent months has come as something of a surprise to industry watchers, given that data obtained from NIBSS indicates that more Nigerians are embracing the electronic payment channel. For instance, citing NIBSS’ data, New Telegraph recently reported that the total number of PoS terminals deployed in the country increased by 67.1 per cent to 510,773 at the end of March this year, from 305, 725 in the corresponding period of last year. The data also shows that the total number of registered POS Terminals as at the end of March 2021 stood at 783,136 compared with 470,122 in the same period of last year. Also, further review of NIBSS’ data by New Telegraph reveals that the value of POS transactions has maintained an upward trend in the last three years.

A breakdown of the figures shows that the value of transactions through PoS terminals increased from N2.32 trillion in 2018 to N3.20 trillion and N4.7 trillion in 2019 and 2020 respectively. New Telegraph gathered that the decline in the value of PoS transactions in the last three months was due to the impact of the tough economy as well as an increasing number of customers preferring to use mobile banking applications for their transactions instead of PoS terminals.

In a chat with New Telegraph, the Head of Operations at a Tier 2 bank, who did not want to be named, blamed the decline in the value of POS transactions in recent months to the tough economic conditions in the country. The bank official said: “The high rate of inflation has drastically affected purchasing power, so the average Nigerian is cautious about expenses and this affects the amount that is transferred or withdrawn through electronic payment channels such as PoS Terminals, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and mobile banking apps.

“Besides, many Nigerians have either lost their jobs or have been forced by their employers to accept pay cuts. With limited or no income at all, people would definitely cut down on making transfers and withdrawals through electronic payment channels.” However, a Lagos-based businessman, Mr. Mike Duru, told New Telegraph that he no longer used PoS terminals for his transactions as frequently as he used to in the past, due to frequent network disruptions and the “exploitative” attitude of some PoS terminal operators.

He said: “Failed PoS transactions due to network disruptions are not something I like to experience because it usually takes banks a long time to resolve them. Also, many PoS operators, these days, charge fees that are much higher than what the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) prescribes.” Duru said he now preferred to use mobile banking apps for his transactions as they are more convenient and secure. Although the value of PoS transactions dropped in June compared with the previous month, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), FDC, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, in his latest Lagos Business School (LBS) Executive Breakfast presentation, stated that: “Transactions across e-payment channels rose significantly by 11.43 per cent to N25.93trillion from N23.27trillion in May.” He predicted that “value of transactions (are) expected to continue to rise towards N30trillion in Q3 as economic activities increase.” It would be recalled that the CBN had in 2013, introduced the agent banking system, under which, financial institutions (FIs) and Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) could appoint third parties as agents, equipped with PoS terminals, to provide financial services on their behalf to members of the public. The banking agents have seen their business grow rapidly especially since the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic spread to Nigeria in February last year.




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