Point-of-sale (PoS) operators and traders in Lagos have urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and telecom companies to restore service. In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos, the stakeholders made the observation.
They believe that having well-functioning PoS machines is critical in light of the apex bank’s directive on withdrawal limits. They advised the authority to restore people’s trust in the use of PoS in order for them to stay in business. According to NAN, the apex bank increased the maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawals across all channels in a new circular that went into effect on January 9.
The new policy limits weekly cash withdrawals to N500,000 and N5 million for individuals and corporate bodies, respectively. A trader in Oshodi Market, Lagos, Divine Pattaya, said with the new policy and network disruptions, he did not think that he could continue with the business.
“When PoS started, a lot of banks used it to support us; I have four PoS machines from four different banks, but I had to dump three because I do not get instant alerts on transactions done through the machines. For instance, if I have 10 customers buy from me and make payment with the PoS, their money will not come on that day until the next day.
When it eventually comes, it will be difficult for me to know who paid what because it will all come in bulk,” he said. Another operator, Uchechi Tunji, said several times, money had been wrongly deducted from her account through PoS. When you go to your bank to lodge the complaints, the bank will tell you that there is an intermediary that is looking into it. Sometimes it takes six months to get back your money. I think the CBN has a lot of work to do on that, and if the machines that are outside are not good, they need to give us good and effective ones, as we cannot go to the bank to withdraw a lot of cash again
Alhaja Rekiyat Suleiman, another PoS operator, said the poor network had made her lose a lot of customers. They get angry and embarrassed whenever I ask them to wait a while, for me to receive transaction alerts from my bank before they leave with their goods or money. I am not enjoying any of the three PoS machines in my store because of failed transactions due to bad network service. The problem is that when customers pay with PoS, the receipts will be printed out and handed to them.
For the next hour, you will not receive a transaction alert, and you will not want to release the goods.This has really affected my business, it is painful and embarrassing to the customer and has made people not trust the system,” Suleiman said.
Meanwhile, Zainab Abdulmumini from the Consumer Protection Department, CBN, had said during a sensitization tour of Balogun Market, Lagos, that the core function of the CBN was to promote a sound financial system. She said the duty of the Consumer Protection Department of the CBN was to protect consumers and traders and to also ensure that they were not being exploited by their banks.
According to her, three divisions in Consumer Protection Department are being saddled with the responsibility of educating the people: the Consumer Education Division, the Complaint Management Division, and the Market Conduct Division. So, the first thing to do when you have a transaction issue is to meet your bank, tell them your problem, and ensure you have a tracking ID from your bank.
“If your bank is not really doing anything about it, or your bank has done something about it and you are not okay with it, come to CBN’s Consumer Protection Department,” said Abdulmumini. “You have a right to walk into the Information and Client Office to lodge complaints, you can write a letter to the Director, Consumer Protection Department, submit it in Abuja or in any branch of your choice, it will be handled free of charge