‘Cashless policy is for economic prosperity’
Experts seek review of roles, rules, as fraud volume declines
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has come out to explain that the reintroduced cash-less policy is not aimed at creating difficulties or punishing anybody in the financial system, but for economic growth.
The Director of Payment System Management Department at CBN, Sam Okojere, said the intent of the policy is to encourage electronic payments, as part of the key requirements for achieving the vision on national payments.
While presenting his address at the Second General Meeting of the Nigeria electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) for 2019, he said the policy is also aimed at reducing the risk and costs associated with the already identified high usage of cash.
Okojere, who is also the Chairman of NeFF, said the policy prescribed processing fees on daily cash withdrawals and cash deposits that exceed N500,000 for individuals and N3million for corporate bodies.
The processing fees prescribed are three per cent and five per cent on withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities respectively, while deposits/lodgments are charged two per cent and three per cent also for individuals and corporate entities respectively.
In addition, the process for merchant settlement was reviewed to further deepen financial inclusion, enhance transparency and efficiency of the Nigerian payments system.
“For clarity, the processing fees will only be applied on withdrawals above the prescribed thresholds. If an individual withdraws or deposits a cumulative sum of N600,000 into an account in one day, the processing fee to be charge would be three per cent of the N100,000 that is in excess of the prescribed threshold of N500,000, amounting to N3,000; and two per cent of the N100,000, amounting to N2,000 for deposits.
“Likewise, if a corporate should make a withdrawal or deposit a cumulative sum of N4million into its accounts in a bank in one day, the processing fee to be charge would be five per cent of the N1million that is in excess of the prescribed threshold of N3million- N50,000 for withdrawals and three per cent of the N 1million- N30,000 for deposits,” he said.
He said the apex bank has braced itself for this new cash-less regime in the six states and Federal Capital Territory.
“This has been done through the licensing of 26 Mobile Money Operators, 10 Super Agents, 2l Payment Terminal Service Providers, 21 Payment Solution Service Providers, four third party processors, nine Switches and five Non-Bank Acquirers.
“It is expected that these licensed entities will smoothen the implementation of the cash-less policy across the payments system,” he said.
While speaking on incidences of fraud in the electronic payment system, as evidenced by the second quarter (Q2) 2019 fraud report by Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), volume of attempts decreased by 47.28 per cent from Q1 figures.
But Web, Automated Teller Machines and mobile transactions remained the usual suspects to be used by fraudsters.
He admitted that because of the cash-less policy re-introduction, following the trend of increase in usage of electronic transactions, there is the likelihood of continued increase in electronic transactions and corresponding potential upsurge in electronic fraud, despite concerted and collective efforts to check fraud in the country.
“Therefore, it is necessary to review and strengthen the existing roles and enact new regulations to mitigate fraud risks in the Payment system.
“Taming fraud will continue to be a focus for NeFF, as we know the impact fraud has in diminishing trust, which is an essential ingredient in building an internationally recognised and nationally utilised payments system.
“Hence, we remain committed in ensuring that the Nigerian Payment System is not only easy to use, but also reliable and trustworthy,” he added.