With over 200,000 PoS terminals currently installed in the states to kick-start the second phase of the cash-less policy, and going by an estimated figure of N100,000 per terminal as provided by the Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria, at least N20bn may have already been expended on the scheme.
For the first phase of the cash-less scheme, over 150,000 PoS terminals were deployed.
Figures obtained from members of the EPPAN showed that it cost about N100,000 to set up a PoS terminal. The cost covers the hardware/software components and connectivity component.
A major player in the business told our correspondent, “To set up a PoS without the cost of connectivity can cost about N70,000. The N30,000 balance is expected to cover connectivity expenses. Connectivity plans differ slightly with the telecoms operators; and connectivity is for specific periods.”
With only 40 per cent of the PoS terminals working nationwide at the moment, there are strong indications that the second phase of the cash-less policy may be in for some challenges since only 80,000 of the terminals are functional as the remaining 120,000 PoS machines are not working after their first connection.
Aside from the workability of the existing PoS terminals, there is also the fear that the level of e-awareness in the cash-less scheme coverage areas under the second phase may not match that of Lagos, which is the hub of commerce in the country.
The second phase of the policy started in July this year, and EPPAN had called for an industry collaboration that would ensure improved connectivity to the PoS terminals deployed to drive the nascent cash-less economy in the country.
The Deputy Governor, Operations, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Tunde Lemo, recently explained that the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System provided the infrastructure for automated processing, settlement of payments and fund transfer instructions among banks, discount houses and card companies in the country.
The NIBSS is owned equally by all the licensed banks and the CBN, while discount houses operating in the country also hold substantial shares.
Lemo noted that both the value and volume of cash transactions executed through the NIBSS and the National Electronic Funds Transfer had more than doubled when compared with the use of cheques. A NEFT payment is an irrevocable fund transfer instruction.
The deputy governor said the five new states and the FCT were chosen because of the large volume of cash transactions in their major cities.
The CBN had this month commenced the full implementation of the cash-less policy in the new areas following the end of a three-month moratorium on the charges given to customers, who withdraw or deposit higher than the amounts stipulated in the cash-less policy document.
The policy allows the CBN to peg the daily cumulative cash withdrawal or deposit limit for individual accounts at N500,000, while that of corporate account is fixed at N3m per day.
The central bank had said the imposition of the charges on withdrawals higher than the prescribed limits would ensure an effective implementation of the cash-less policy.