How and Why PoS Penetration is Tottering
EXPERTS have blamed infrastructure and the bank-led model adopted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to drive financial inclusion for the lethargic growth and use of use of Point of Sale terminal (PoS) in the country.
According to them, the industry lacks robust infrastructure such as broadband to conclude transactions while saying that the success or other wise of the PoS adoption hinge largely on how much the regulators are allowing the mobile network operators and banks to practice to the highest levels of their expertise.
Emmanuel Okogwale, Principal Associate, MobileMoney Africa, said that cashless economy could have been driven better through the mobile phone because telcos understand the GSM technology and required proper partnerships, great systems and a passion for unbanked.
He cited his experience at a hotel in Ibadan where the front office guy told him; “this thing had never worked ever before” referring to their PoS. Wondering thousands of such that do not work, nationwide.”
He said the hotelier called PoS in his local language, ‘eleyi’ meaning ‘This thing’. “Shame on Tunde Ogungbade, managing director, Global Accelerex ,had similar experience but blamed it on infrastructure issues. “The problem of infrastructure in the e-payment space has to be broken down into several sub-categories where better service level objectives can be defined and service level agreements established.
For example, there have been claims that PoS terminals performance has been due to performance issue with telecommunication infrastructure and services.
However, the same telecommunication infrastructure and services is being used by millions of Nigerians to get online and engage social media which requires more bandwidth and infrastructure capacity than PoS terminals.
Something must be wrong. We have to go beyond the core telecommunication infrastructure and services and start performing business activity monitoring and management for payment services in the e-payment industry”.
Onajite Regha, executive secretary/CEO, E-Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN), said that the challenge 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 efforts should be made by the concerned government agencies especially NCC to encourage and compel infrastructure sharing (interoperability) among service providers. “Basically, this will ensure that, much of the remaining addressable market in the rural areas, where providing network infrastructure and operations is expensive, will be adequately taken care of.
This will make Nigeria, with an estimated population of over 170 million people, over 76.03 Million Bank accounts and almost 140 million mobile phone subscribers to be on the threshold of deploying e-payment system to address the challenge of financial exclusion of sizeable Nigerian adults”.