PoS transactions from 170,000 terminals hit N177. 8b as poor network hinders service
Financial transactions since the beginning of the year from the 170,000 deployed Point of Sales (PoS) terminals in the country currently stands at N177.8 billion.
This is as telecommunication network connectivity continues to mar the progress in PoS adoption rate.
Statistics obtained by The Guardian from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) Plc, showed that as at March, which is the latest, the volume of transactions grew from 16, 102 in January to 16,731 in February and 20,728 in March. In terms of value of the transactions, N152.9 billion was recorded on the PoS terminals in January. It dropped to N144.9 billion in February and later climbed to N177.8 billion in March.
In terms of registration, the number of registered PoS in the country showed 188, 493, 192,414 and 200,000 for January, February and March, while the deployed ones, that is those terminals that are actually working, Nigeria had 159, 579, 164,607 and 170, 306 respectively for the period under review.
Interactions with some representatives of popular e-commerce merchant revealed that when customers use their credit/debit cards on the PoS terminals, which are run by commercial banks, customers account are debited without the fund getting to the e-commerce platform.
“When the customer is lucky, the fund can be returned to his or her account immediately, but should the network challenge persists, it could take between seven or 14 workings days before the fund is returned to the customers’ account,” one of them, who gave her name as Jessica Nwafor, said in Lagos.
Currently, most PoS terminals are provided with connectivity through GSM Subscriber Identity Module (SIM).
Kehinde Aluko, a telecoms expert explained the phenomenon behind transaction failure during the use of POS, it occurs when there is difficulty to get transactional data and transmit same.
However, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (EPPAN), Mrs. Onajite Regha, said the challenges bedeviling PoS transactions in the country are being addressed by the relevant authorities.
“We find that more people are willing to use to PoS terminals for small value transactions, but a major constraint is with connectivity. The payment service providers continue to work hard to ensure that this challenge does not overtake the efforts that are being put in and there are discussions going on within.
“We are aware that NIBSS are in discussions with the telecommunications operators and solutions are been sought to resolve this challenge. You will agree with me that marked improvements have been noticed with all the new innovations being employed by various providers,” she stressed.
A top official of one of the Mobile Network Operators, who spoke to The Guardian on phone anonymously, yesterday claimed that the service providers have actually upgraded their facilities in order to be able to meet up with quality of service standard in the country.
She argued that network failures on PoS terminals could at times be as a result of the location, “I won’t say all the communities have been covered, even in Lagos, some areas are still challenged, but we are working and investing seriously. You know that telecoms and ICT infrastructure are infrastructures of Infrastructure, meaning that all other sectors rely on our sector for a living.”
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