The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced its intention to intervene in resolving the issues surrounding the newly implemented charges by Point of Sale (PoS) operators in Nigeria.
Currently, discussions are taking place between PoS agents and relevant stakeholders nationwide to agree on modifications to transaction fees for PoS services.
This development comes as a response to the recent surge in PoS charges observed in Lagos, Ogun, and Edo states. Oluwasegun Elegbede, the National Public Relations Officer of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria, revealed this information.
Elegbede also mentioned that other states are planning to emulate Lagos by increasing their transaction charges. On Friday, June 30, Stephen Adeoye, the PRO of AMMBAN’s Lagos Chapter, announced on Channels Television’s Business Morning program that the association had devised a new pricing structure for PoS agents operating in the state.
He said, “Let me tell you the price list, N1000–N2,400 will be N100 for withdrawal. N3500 to N4000 will be N200; N4,100 to N6,400 will be N300; N6,500 to N7,900 will be N400; N8500 to N10,900 will be N500; N11,000 to N14,000 will be N600; N14,500 to N17,900 will be N700; N18,000 to N2000 will N800 for withdrawal.”
Elegbede justified the price increase by the Lagos chapter of the organization, stating that PoS agents are aligning their prices with the prevailing economic conditions in the country.
He said, “Yes, it is something that is expected to happen nationally; looking at the business last year and the current economic realities, it is very important that we also continue to stay in business.
“Every other thing in the market has gone up, and we operate in the same market as every other business. Basically, the source of our business, the funding, the operational cost, and payment of staff is borne by us.”
He stated that agents need to increase their prices if they are to continue to stay in business. He argued, “We have to increase prices if we want to stay in business; we need to balance cost. It will cut across all states. What we agreed on at the national level is that each state should come up with something that is realistic in their state; we cannot dictate prices for the state.”
Elegbede explained that every state would not adopt Lagos’s rate but would tailor theirs to prevailing peculiarities. “Many of the states are having meetings with stakeholders as we speak. Many of our members are in communities where there are stakeholders. Many of them are having engagements with these stakeholders. They are setting up committees to ensure that it is something that is well adopted and accepted by all.”
He added, “Some other states have kicked off with the new rates. Lagos is only getting most of the attention because of its economic status. Ogun has set up its price list. Edo has also started theirs and is coming up with its announcement soon. A couple of other states are also on it. We will be getting a couple of announcements state by state soon.
“The new rates are needed because of the current situation of the country. But it will still be very much affordable for the populace because we are also aware of our role in the economy.”
AMMBAN’s action contradicts the Central Bank of Nigeria, which recently provided emergency helpline numbers for Nigerians to report PoS agents who charge more than N200 for withdrawals up to N10,000.
Regarding the price hike, Isa AbdulMumin, the Director of Corporate Communications at the CBN, acknowledged that the CBN was aware of the PoS agents’ intention to raise transaction fees.
Responding to a text, he said, “CBN is very much aware and working towards resolving the issue.”
As of the conclusion of March 2023, the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System reported the deployment of 1.8 million PoS machines. Additionally, there has been a growing reliance on PoS services by Nigerians, resulting in a record-breaking transaction value of N1.15 trillion by the end of March 2023.