PoS vendors lament low patronage
By Francis Akinnodi
As banks have made more cash available to their customers following the directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Point of Sale (PoS) agents are complaining of low patronage.
Some of the PoS agents who spoke with The Hope, said customers were yet to patronise them as it was during cash scarcity caused by the naira redesign policy of the CBN.
“I used to do between N300,000 and N700,000 daily for both cash and transfers before the scarcity, but now I do less than N300k daily.
“There is enough now; so people do not really use PoS,” a POS agent lamented.
She said she had reduced her charges to what they were before the scarcity of banknotes.
“I charge N100 for N5,000 and N200 for N10,000.”
The withdrawal of the old naira notes from circulation ahead of the February 10 deadline alongside the reduction of over-the-counter cash withdrawal limits to N100,000 and N500,000 per week for individual and corporate organisations, respectively and the limited supply of the new notes led to a severe cash scarcity.
The cash scarcity led to long queues and left Nigerians relying on PoS agents for cash at exorbitant charges.
“I used to do transactions between N100,000 and N150,000 daily before the scarcity but now I do N100,000 for two days; the N100,000 I withdrew last week Friday afternoon is what I’m still giving out,” a PoS operator, Dayo Olaniyi said.
Willie said business has been slow because there are so many PoS agents now. “Also, a lot of shops have PoS machines now; so people can easily use their cards or transfer to shops and they’d rather do that than pay for charges to collect their money.”
Another PoS agent in Akure, Caroline Adenugba said she used to process N300,000 daily but now does less because of the cash availability and the charges.
“People prefer to go to the bank now, especially the older women in the market, since they won’t be charged.”
She said, “The business is slow now not because of cash availability but because people lost their jobs and businesses during the cash scarcity and so they don’t have enough money to withdraw.
“A lot of businesses here crumbled; I also experienced losses, and it’s only when you have money that you can withdraw.”
The Hope had earlier reported that the cash scarcity led to long queues at banks, failed online transactions and limited business activities across the country, causing losses for individuals and businesses.
Also a PoS agent, Sunday John said a lot of people rushed into the PoS business thinking it was lucrative during the cash scarcity.
“A lot of people that rushed into the PoS business would quit because they won’t be able to make much profit like they did during the scarcity.”
He said before the scarcity, he was able to save more compared to now.
“My personal daily savings before the scarcity was N15,000; now I save N6,000 to N7,000 daily.
“Before the scarcity, I could do up to N1 million transactions in a day; between 6:30am and 8am when the bank opens, I would have exhausted N300,000 and then go back to withdraw N700,000, which I would also exhaust by 8pm in the evening,” he said.
He pointed out that although more cash is in circulation now, some banks only allow a maximum withdrawal of N20,000.
Another PoS agent said they are not getting as much cash from the banks because of restrictions.