Bank customers will not pay charges for using Point of Sale (PoS) machines, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said.
In a statement, it said that the cost of such deals will be borne by merchants, which will pay 1.25 per cent of the transaction fee. The fee is distributed to different parties for playing different roles in ensuring that the PoS system works well.
The fees, according to the statement enable the parties to recover the cost of the PoS; support maintenance and connectivity among others.
It explained that where the merchants do not use the PoS, they will still be charged a penal fee of 20 per cent of cash transaction in excess of the cash limit policy. Merchants are also advised to recognise that there are other ways in which the PoS terminal can benefit them, such as selling other services and earning commissions.
For instance, mobile credit can be sold through the terminals, or used to collect bill payment for firms such as the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). Also, training will be provided by the acquirer’s payment terminal service provider (PTSP). Part of the deployment process is to ensure a practical training of how to use the PoS for the merchant and their staff.
“However, if the PoS or mobile phone is stolen, the money for the user is safe as the devices do not hold the money. In terms of infrastructure, the CBN is working with Nigeria Communications Commission and telecoms companies to ensure that there are dedicated communication links for the PoS system.
Also, all PoS must have a minimum of two Sims such as MTN and Glo. However, this does not guarantee 100 per cent connectivity but does increase the uptime of PoS system. In terms of power, there is minimum of 24 hours battery life, and they can sometimes come with car charges,” the statement said.
However, in terms of security of platforms, it said that ATM fraud was prevalent when Nigeria was using magnetic stripe cards. But last year, Nigeria migrated all their cards to chip and pin which is more secure and drastically reduced the fraud level. With chip and pin, the chances of fraud are reduced provided a customer keeps his PIN secret.
Besides, the CBN Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Fraud Prevention Committee comprising banks, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), InterSwitch, ValuCard among others, deliberate monthly to make e-payments more secure. Also, the Nigerian Electronic Payment Fraud Forum has been inaugurated to share strategy for fraud prevention.
“The literacy required in operating the PoS is minimal as many Nigerians can use a mobile phone needed to make mobile payments. Biometrics is also being installed in some ATMs and PoS to further check fraud in the industry.
“Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) has also introduced NIBSS Instant Payment that enables people to transfer funds immediately between two accounts within same bank or in different banks. This is currently being offered by a few banks. The apex bank has already issued a circular to break exclusivity of card. Within Nigeria, all cards will be accepted at any terminal.
The PoS, going forward, will accept both VISA and MasterCard at ATMS or PoS terminals,” the CBN said. The banking watchdog said that it has released guidelines and standards for PoS operations.
It also appointed NIBSS to serve as a central aggregator for all PoS transactions. In addition, 96 Payment Terminal Service Provider companies were licenced to maintain/support PoS.
With all these, the apex bank said the PoS and other electronic payment platforms are supposed to be up and running at all times.