Nigeria occupies seventh position among African countries where the use of point of sale (PoS) form part of transactions, Nigeria Communications Week has learnt.
According to a report by Indexmundi only 21 percent of total transactions in the country are done through the PoS device.
South Africa stands at the top with 91 percent followed by Ghana 80 percent while Tunisia is third with 79 percent. Other countries ahead of Nigeria are Egypt, Morocco and Kenya in that order.
According to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the PoS density per 100,000 people in Nigeria is 13, while India’s is 67; Uganda, 453; Namibia, 338
The target for Nigeria, according to the bank, is to meet Brazil’s PoS deployment rate of 2,247 per 100,000 people by 2020.
The initiative would lead to GDP contributions and job creation with a ripple effect on the economy while boosting national pride and reducing exposure of national security in the area of espionage.
Kevin Chung of Avante International Technology, at the just concluded CashlessAfrica Expo, said that while the communication network and bandwidth are adequate, the data centres in the financial communities in Nigeria needs to upgrade from Tier 1-2 to Tier 3-4 to enable the cash-less economy.
Tunde Ogungbade, managing director, Global Accelerex Limited, said that cash places a huge toll on GDP and that in Nigeria cost of cash management is projected by CBN to be N250billion by 2020.
“There is high percentage of unbanked in the country and uneven access to money, these hobbles cashless initiative in the country.”
He added that a cashless future must serve society at large, and that it cannot be about corporate interest, governmental control or surveillance and monitoring. “It must be about providing endless consumer choice for payment”.
Ogungbade highlighted barriers to cashless future such as high rate of illiteracy, inadequate sensitization and education as well as inadequate instruments and channels.
He identified benefits of cashless future to include better access to capital for micro-merchants and small business, and increase instruments to drive economic growth and development.
He urged the sector’s regulator to implement policies and regulations that promote electronic payment acceptance, lowering of transaction cost and provision of alternative payment before penalizing the use of cash as well seek and explore innovation at all steps of the payment process.
Onajite Regha, executive secretary/CEO, E-Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN), said that operators of the payment system have worked so hard to match innovation with needs, and have battled tirelessly to ensure the integrity of the payment systems.
“In the same vein, our regulators have not left any stone unturned to ensure that our payment systems meet their desire to make it nationally utilized and internationally recognized. As an Association E-PPAN has remained the bridge between the providers, the regulators and the users. It has not been an easy ride but we can proudly say we have come a long way since 2012,” she said.
“So while there is still a lot of room for improvement, in my opinion we are deserving of a pat on the back in the implantation of the cashless society so far.”