The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has confirmed that there are some technical issues with most Point of Sales (PoS) machines deployed in Lagos to drive cashless policy.
Head, Shared Services Office at CBN, Mr. Chidi Umeano, who admitted that most of the machines were not working, blamed the situation on the poor connectivity with General Packet Radio Service (GPRS).
“A couple of issues have been identified why most of the PoS already deployed are not working. They include poor infrastructure, connectivity problem, and lack of proper enlightenment on the part of merchants.
“We relied on GPRS for connectivity, but realised there were issues with it in some parts of Lagos and we have gone ahead of that to deploy Wireless Fidelity (Wi Fi) Cloud to most clustered areas in the state and we are engaging the telecoms operators who have assured us that they would improve on connectivity. Again most of the merchants who manage PoS terminals, are yet to have full understanding of how the terminals work, hence most of them dump them at the slightest challenge they encounter with it,” Umeano told THISDAY.
CBN has so far deployed over 150,000 PoS terminal machines in Lagos alone, but the merchants that were supposed to implement the usage, decided to dump them because of technical issues.
Most merchants that had earlier purchased the machines, have decided to pack them up and continued with the old and familiar system of receiving physical cash for every transaction, which negates the cashless policy initiated by the CBN.
In technical parlance, PoS machines are portable devices used for electronic transactions. They are often displayed in most banking halls, merchant shops and other places that trade on goods and services.
The machine allows electronic card holders to swipe their cards in it, and immediately debits the card for the particular amount of transaction carried out. It is conveniently used for payment of goods and services and automatically displaces the use of physical cash.
To address the situation, CBN has licensed Payment Terminals System Providers (PTSP), to enlighten merchants on the use of PoS.
“What they do is to deploy PoS, maintain PoS, train merchants, and deploy best software to PoS terminals,” Umeano said.
Executive Director, Business Development, Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Christabel Onyejekwe, who also gave reasons why the machines are not working, told THISDAY that the challenges were teething and would soon be overcome.