The decision of the financial sector regulator to promote electronic payment option is yielding the expected dividends as milestones were recorded in the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) channels and Point of Sales (PoS) terminals in 2012.
Investigations conducted by the Nigerian Tribune showed that more Nigerians particularly in the semi-urban areas, shopping malls, supermarkets and other big sales outlets are embracing the ATM and PoS e-payment channels.
Statistics from the Nigerian Interbank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) showed that it recorded over two million successful PoS transactions valued at about N38.8billion in 2012
Also, according to the Head, Shared Services, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Chidi Umeano, the number of deployed and active PoS terminals grew from 5,557 as at January 2012 to 104,858 by October 14, 2012 while another 176,604 PoS terminals were already registered.
He disclosed that cumulative PoS transactions recorded 1,501,193 transactions valued at N27.8 billion as at October, 2012 compared to a mere 3,197 transactions valued at N99, 657,191.52 in January 2012.
In another report, the number of registered PoS terminals increased in the market from 31,000 to 185,000 from January to November 2012, indicating an increase in coverage, spread and usage.
On the other hand, a total of 9,676 ATMs had been deployed in Nigeria, while the 20 Licensed Mobile Payment Operators, carried out transactions worth over N8 billion, with over 40,000 agents across the country.
The Managing Director/CEO, Technology and Operations of the NIBSS, Mr Adebisi Shonubi,, said the level of growth in the PoS adoption, showed that the payment channel was widely accepted and regarded as a viable option for promoting e-payment and transactions
The Head, Shared Services, CBN, Mr Chidi Umeano, attributed the phenomenal patronage of the various channels particularly, the ATM to the migration from magstripe to chip and PIN, stating that the singular action had reduced fraud by at least 90 per cent.
According to him, “In line with the Bankers Committee’s desire to increase the PoS density, the Shared Services Office embarked on a number of initiatives to achieve the set objective.
Notable among them are the issuance of PoS guidelines, negotiation of discounts with PoS manufacturers, licensing of PTSPs and PTSA and encouragement of banks to order and deploy POS.”
As a result of this, he said POS deployment had been on the increase since December 2011, adding that the target of purchasing at least 10,000 POS terminals per vendor had been met for three vendors,” he said.