The volume and value of transactions through Point of Sale (PoS) terminals and Mobile Interscheme transfers (Mobile phones) declined in August. Analysis of the current Electronic Payment Channels data from Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) showed that the volume of PoS transactions fell month-on-month (MoM) by 3.2 million or six percent to 50.7 million in August from 53.7 million in July.
Similarly, the value of PoS transactions dropped by N30.33 billion or seven percent to N386.4 billion in August from N416.7 billion in July. The report also shows that in August, the volume of mobile transfers fell by 2.0 percent to 11.99 million from 12.22 million in July while its value declined by eight percent to N253.1 billion from N275.12 billion in July.
Commenting on the development, National Chairman, Centre against Impunity in Nigeria, Shina Loremikan said: “I think the inability of the system to meet customers’ satisfaction is the cause of the decline in PoS and Mobile transfers transactions. “If you transfer a sum to somebody elsewhere, sometimes, it takes three days or a week, there are instances of 10 days before the person will get the cash transfer, but while you are yet making the cash transfer, they instantly deduct your money and other hidden charges including stamp duty charge. “So people keep asking, ‘how long would we continue with paying these hidden charges’ that is a sign of frustration in business transactions.
People decided to use other means such as doing manual money transfer where you fill a form in a physical bank and not by ATM, PoS or mobile phone so that whoever you are sending the money to can quickly have it.
“It is rather unfortunate. Instead of the banks to explain the unfolding dilemma, they didn’t. It is until you constitute a nuisance that is when they will find a means to address it and most times they will tell you branches cannot resolve the issue but can only be resolved at the headquarter. Sometimes they will say it is not the fault of the banks but Interswitch. Whereas, when the bank customer came into the contract, he didn’t know Interswitch.” On his part, President, Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN) Olojo Victor said:
“The effect of COVID-19 which has dampened business activities in the country is telling on payment channel patronage. This has resulted in the fall in mobile transfers and PoS transactions.” However, Loremikan noted that unless the regulatory bodies sanction banks for breach of contract with customers, bank customers will continue to opt for transactions in physical banks.
“To ensure confidence building on the part of the end users of the bank services, the supervising institutions have to assert their authorities on banks and the customers should be compensated for breach of contract. If the banks breach their contract with customers and they get sanctioned by their supervisory authority, they will sit upright”, he said.
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