Business

Value of PoS transactions hits N6.29trn in 2021

The total value of Point of Sales (PoS) transactions carried out in Nigeria in 2021 increased by 32.98 per cent to N6.29 trillion from N4.73 trillion in 2020, a new report by Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) has said.

 

FDC, which usually cites data obtained from the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), predicted that the value of PoS transactions was likely to increase further to N7.83 trillion in 2022.

 

However, the firm said that while the increase in the value of transactions suggests that more Nigerians are embracing digital payment, there is likely to be more cash in circulation next year.

 

Last month, the President of Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN), Mr Victor Olojo, disclosed that the value of PoS transactions carried out in the country increased to N3.01 trillion in the first six months of 2021, compared with N2 trillion and N2.72 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2020 and in H2’20 respectively.

 

New Telegraph recently reported that with more Nigerians adopting electronic payment (epayment), there has been a surge in the number of deployed PoS terminals in the country in recent years.

 

Latest data obtained from NIBSS, for instance, shows that the total number of deployed PoS terminals in the industry increased from 764,589 at the end of October to 861,612 at the end of November.

 

This implies that an additional 97,023 terminals were deployed by financial institutions, last month.

 

Further analysis of the NIBSS’ data indicates that the number of deployed PoS terminals increased from 150.65 at the end of November 2017 to 208, 611 and 287,759 at the end of November 2018 and November 2019 respectively.

 

The surge in the number of deployed POS terminals, has, however, been more noticeable in the last twenty months as the total deployed terminals jumped from 287,759 at the end of November 2019 to 435,009 at the end of November 2020. Similarly, the number of POS terminals deployed between the end of November 2020 and the corresponding period of this year jumped by 98.06 per cent to 861,612.

 

According to analysts, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s efforts to boost financial inclusion, which led it to introducing the Agent Banking system in 2013, under which financial institutions and mobile money operators could appoint third parties as agents equipped with PoS Terminals to provide financial services on their behalf to members of the public, has helped to increase the deployment of the terminals.

 

There has been a significant increase in the number of banking agents, or PoS operators as they are called in these parts, especially since COVID-19 spread to Nigeria in February last year.

 

Findings show that in order to avoid close contact with people in the banking hall, more Nigerians are now adopting e-payments channels such as PoS, NIBSS Instant Payment (NIPs), Mobile Interscheme and NIBSS Electronic Transfer (NEFT). Analysts also attribute the rapid deployment of PoS Terminals to the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facilities (SANEF) initiative unveiled by the CBN, in collaboration with Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and licensed mo-

 

bile money operators, in March 2018. Under the initiative, the financial institutions planned an aggressive roll out of 500,000 agent network that would use PoS terminals to offer basic financial services such as Cashin, Cash-out, funds transfer, bill payments, airtime purchase, government disbursements, as well as remote enrolment on BMS Infrastructure (BVN) to an estimated 50 million Nigerians.

 

Speaking at the event, the Chairman, Body of Banks’ Chief Executive Officers and Managing Director/Chief Ex- ecutive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said: “This agreement reflects our commitment to aggressively pursue the CBN 2020 Financial Inclusion target in an integrated way with minimal systemic risk to the financial system. This initiative will also generate 500,000 new jobs over the next two years.”

However, there are indications that the accelerated growth in e-payments, especially the rapid deployment of PoS terminals by financial institutions, may have triggered an increase in the number of fraud incidents involving the use of the terminals.

 

Commenting on the development, a Lagos-based banking agent, Mr. Okanlawon Johnson, said that while some fraudsters, known locally as “yahoo boys,” had found their way into the agent banking business, the increase in e-payment fraud was also the result of many Nigerians not adequately protecting their PIN as well as ATM (debit) card details.

 

He said: “What is happening is that a lot of yahoo boys are taking advantage of the increased adoption of e-payments by Nigerians to apply to become PoS agents.

 

So, being the criminals that they are, you can imagine that they would use the terminals to try to defraud people.”

 

He advised members of the public to avoid patronising PoS agents that they don’t know very well and to always ensure that they protect their Personal Identification Number (PIN) and card details

 

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