Experts harp on infrastructure network, awareness for cashless policy
Electronic payment operators have blamed the absence of robust infrastructure network and low level of awareness for the slow adoption of e-payment as a lifestyle.This is against the backdrop of the need to expand electronic based channels of transactions in the country.
The operators said the problems have been compounded by inability of telecommunications operators to expand their network capacity as a result of federal government foreign exchange policy that have made it difficult for them to import the required equipment for network upgrade.
In recent weeks’ telecommunications services of operators are at low ebb as subscribers are faced with poor quality of service on voice and data sides.
Regha Onajite, executive secretary/CEO, E-Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN), said that the problem of a robust infrastructure in Nigeria is not limited to the e-payment space.
“We all know that modern infrastructure is the bedrock of any growing economy which directly affects the way people interact generally and in this case in payments. Nigeria has Africa’s largest mobile market, with more than 140 million subscribers and a penetration of above 100%. The rapid growth has led to problems with network congestion and quality of service, prompting the telecom regulator to impose fines and sanctions.” She added that, the suspension of charges on cash withdrawal policy by CBN was as a result of low awareness of the policy in other states of the federation as well as the infrastructure network that is being currently worked on to boost a robust and effective payment system across the country.
“The policy will be re-introduced as soon as we have increased awareness level following the vigorous campaign currently being carried out across the country. For your information feedback from our work on the field shows the willingness and readiness of even the remote communities to accept and adopt more of e-payment culture as a lifestyle.”Corroborating her, Tunde Ogungbade, managing director, Global Accelerex Limited, said that awareness and education of the merchant is key.
“CBN, NIBSS and the PTSPs have continued to be instrumental to such awareness and education. More so, Agency banking will be instrumental, especially for the hinterland.
He advocated for more incentives and loyalty offers for both cardholders and merchants as a way to encourage them to use e-payment channels as a payment system.
“Increasing consumer confidence through prompt dispute resolution for charge backs is very instrumental to achieve success in this regards. It is obvious that we are yet to exhaust plethora of options possible for value added services on PoS.”