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PoS operators appeal to CBN, telecom coys

By Francis Akinnodi

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Point of Sale (PoS) operators and traders in Nigeria have appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and telecommunication companies to ensure uninterrupted service.

They made the appeal in separate interviews with The Hope at the weekend in Ondo State.

According to them, it is important to have POS machines that function well in view of the apex bank’s directive on cash withdrawal limits.

They urged the CBN to restore people’s confidence in the use of the machines to enable them to remain in business.

Recall that the CBN limited weekly cash withdrawals across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations to N500,000 and N5 million, respectively.

Recounting his experience, a trader in Akure, Okorie Tony said with the new policy and network disruptions, he did not think 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 would not come in that day until the next day.

“When it eventually comes, it would be difficult for me to know who paid what because it will all come in bulk.”

Another operator in Ondo, Ayo Akintunde 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 would 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.”

For some, the poor network had caused them to lose a lot of customers.

According to an operator, Seun Olatunbosun said, “Customers get angry and embarrassed whenever l tells them to wait to receive alerts from bank before they leave with their 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 would be printed out and handed to them.

“For the next one hour, you would not receive a transaction alert, and you wouy not want to release the cash.

“This has really affected my business, it is painful and embarrassing to the customer and has made people not trust the system.”

Meanwhile, Zainab Abdulmumini of the consumer protection department, CBN, had said the core function of the CBN was to promote a sound financial system.

Abdulmumini spoke during a recent sensitisation tour in Balogun Market, Lagos.

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.

“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,” Abdulmumini said.

“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.

She said accessing the consumer protection department was not difficult.

“You can reach them by sending a mail to cpd@cbn.gov.ng, or walk into any CBN branch in the country,” the apex bank official explained.

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