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FinTech stakeholders urge banks to improve PoS capacity

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Stakeholders in financial technology have urged banks to enlighten their customers on the enormous capabilities of Point of Sale (PoS) terminal in the quest to make agent banking network viable.They spoke at the third quarterly PoS Innovative Summit held in Lagos organized by Global Accelerex , with the theme: Deepening Financial Inclusion Through Agency Banking.

According to them PoS has an important role in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) financial inclusion policy.Emmanual Agha, managing director, Innovectives LLC, who delivered keynote at the event, said that PoS device is like a mini bank where bank customers can do everything they can do in a banking hall.

“You can open an account on a PoS terminal; make deposit, withdrawal, transfer, bill payments among other services. Consider the cost of building a bank branch to the cost of PoS device, this will give you an idea that a bank could stop rolling out branches and invest in Pos still achieve target of financial inclusion. With this we are going to make significant millage in financial inclusion efforts of CBN,” he said.

He stressed the need for banks to enlighten their customers on the various banking services that can be carried out on PoS at agent banking locations.“An agent is a representative of a financial institution. It is the bank that needs to enlighten the public that there is a lot more they can do on the PoS at agent location apart from cash in and cash out. Banks have a role to play in putting their voice out there, they are waiting for the agents to do all the heavy lifting and it is not going to happen.

“The way banks advertise their branches on their website, they should list on the same website different agent locations where their customers could go and get services,” he added.He however, urged them to collaborate with Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System to address problem of interoperability even as they are rolling out shared Agent Banking network.

“Since all the banks are connected to NIBSS, if NIBSS come up with a single Application Programming Interface (API), they should all adopt it. This means I don’t need to integrate with all the banks to attend to customers from other banks at agent location,” he said.Agha decried huge cash transactions going on every day at various market clusters such as Computer Village where over a million transactions happen between 9am and 4pm with only 1 percent of it going through electronically.

Victor Olojo, National President, Association of Mobile Money Agents of Nigeria (AMMAN), corroborating Agha, urged for efforts to revamp agent banking networks to ensure that it gets more attraction by making it viable and profitable.

“We have to ensure that technologies that are deployed for agent banking are compactable with the environment where it is been deployed. We have observed that policy formations around financial inclusion for rural areas are done by people that don’t understand behavioural pattern of the rural populace in Nigeria. It has always been Top- bottom approach against Bottom- top approach,” he noted.


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