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Settlement Delays, Issuers Inoperative Hobble PoS Penetration



PoS terminals.jpg

Stakeholders in the electronic payment ecosystem have identified delay in settlements by some banks as well as issuers inoperative among factors militating against increase in Point of Sale terminals (PoS) penetration in the country.

They also frown at Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) model of deployment of the terminal where only banks are allowed to deploy PoS around the country, arguing that such model is counter- productive to the quest by CBN to achieve PoS deployment rate of 2,247 per 100,000 people by 2020.

According to Regha Onajite, executive secretary/CEO, E-Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN), “in our many campaigns for electronic payments across the country, I see issues of network challenges, poor support by PTSPs, settlements issues by some banks as some of the reasons for merchants’ unwillingness to use PoS as means of payment. We even found out that some merchants will put an additional charge for consumers to use PoS.”

“Some of the merchants in Nigeria, especially the small and micro ones do not understand that our payments system is highly evolved and that is why they can have a T + 1 settlement schedule. Most other countries do not offer such. We have developed a sophisticated payment system here. They want instant payment. My advice to such merchants is for them to adopt mobile payment. They do not have much capital to tie down and that is why they clamour for instant settlement. I believe we will still grow the system to when we can have instant settlement too.”

It would be recalled that Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), the industry Payments Terminal Service Aggregator (PTSA) in its end of 2016 report on PoS attributed Issuer Inoperative as a major reason for failed PoS transactions in the country accounting for two million failed transactions last year.

Onijite said: “Issuer inoperative   is a switching problem. It is surely one of the reasons for transaction failures but this is not peculiar to Nigeria alone as other countries also face similar issues. It is a generic challenge that should not cause any scare or panic. In one of my meetings with the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, I can tell from a good point that the ministry is working hard on achieving a robust infrastructure network which will improve the services of the switches and banks across the country.

In his contributions, Tunde Ogungbade, managing director, Global Accelerex, said that Banks are the ones today responsible for investing in PoS terminals used by merchants at retail outlet.

“They are selective in the issuance of PoS terminals to ensure the investment results in transactions that can drive growth. Merchants have also enjoyed this approach of looking to the banks to provide the PoS terminal for free, knowing that if one bank does not, another will to earn their business. What needs to happen in the market is a model similar to what accelerated the adoption of mobile phones, letting the merchant pay for the device. This will remove the limit of banks budget and investment from market demands for PoS terminals and accelerate adoption.”

A report from NIBSS made available to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek shows that 51 percent of volume of transactions in 2016 occurred in Lagos with 32.7M, followed by Abuja with 6.8m and Port Harcourt 5.1M.

It further stated that between January and July 2017, only 15,093 terminals were added to the network.

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Vodacom Director Urges Accountants to Leverage Sage/ACCA Partnership



By peter oluka

Mr Oluseyi Olanrewaju, the finance director at Vodacom Business Africa (Nigeria) Limited, has re-emphasised the need for accounting professionals to embrace digital culture.

He made the remark while delivering keynote address at Sage-ACCA Continuing Professional Development (CPA), event held in Lagos Tuesday, which was the launch of partnership between the two entities to provide platform for accountants to embrace digital transformations.

Olanrewaju emphasized that rapid growth and development in information technology has brought about digital revolution in economic, social and cultural fields, and bequeaths today’s accountant with the responsibility to improve on the skills to remain relevant.

With the recognition of the accounting discipline as an information system, he said, the accountants can’t undermine the influence that the changes in processes of carrying out transactions with the usage of IT in business operations.

In a bid to keep up with changing conditions and the enabling inclusion of information era the need to embrace the digital culture in accountancy can’t be overlooked especially in medium to large scale business.

“Technology should not be viewed as a threat rather tools to boost accounting profession. Digitization is the future; as accountants we can’t run from it. Yes, manual processes are ridden with high risks on accounting and costly. Thus, changes is the environment necessitates changes in applicable accounting tools and skills required to carry out accounting roles”, Olanrewaju said.

Determinants of business that qualify as medium to large include: IT staff & skills including several specialists, multiple locations, large capex in relation to other businesses in operation in the same industry and business with main considerations for technology purchases being advanced features and security.

Using the acronym: VUCA- Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous situations, he reminded the participants that, roles of accountants have changed overtime, demanding for real-time ‘results’. “The environment demands you react quickly to ongoing changes that are unpredictable; it requires you to take action. Therefore, there is little you can achieve today in the ‘VUCA’ world without digitization”.

The keynote speaker also applauded Sage X3 offering, such as robust accounting processes; consistency; time saving; delivers visible metrics; helps to improve operational efficiency and assists users to be in line with government regulations and international accounting rules.

Participants at the interactive session with other C-level ACCA members also learnt how Sage X3 offers the bedrock of the adjustments required in today’s accounting field.

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CBN 14% Interest Rate: Investors Still Expecting Cut



Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at FXTM.

By peter oluka

Nigeria’s central bank has yet again left benchmark interest rates unchanged at 14% in November amid a ‘fragile’ economic recovery.

But, Lukman Otunuta research analyst ForexTimes, in his comment, believes investors are still keen on interest rate cut.

The apex bank also left the cash reserve ratio (CRR) at 22.5 percent.

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele made this known on Tuesday while announcing the decision of the committee in Abuja.

Emefiele said only one of the nine members of the committee voted against the decision.

“Inflation in particular requires very close monitoring to gain clarity on the medium-term optimum path of monetary policy,” Emefiele told a news conference.

The monetary Policy Committee had begun its last meeting for the year on Monday.

According to the committee, the interest rate was held to prevent exchange rate pressure.

Commenting on the decision by the apex bank, Otunuga said, “With GDP growth in the third quarter rising by 1.40%, it seems that the central bank is hesitant to take action anytime soon.

“I believe that Nigeria’s improving economic landscape, and signs of inflationary pressures easing, are likely to support investor expectations of a rate cut.

“With inflation in Nigeria at 15.91%, there is a suspicion that the CBN may be waiting for a more sustained decline before moving ahead with rate cuts to support economic growth.

“As the year slowly comes to an end, investors will continue to observe Nigeria’s hard economic data and inflation figures for hints as to when the CBN might act in 2018”.

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Bitcoin Smashes Through $8,000 for the First time



Bitcoin hit a new record high on Monday after smashing through the $8,000 level for the first time over the weekend, marking an almost 50 percent climb in just eight days.

The new high came after leading U.S. payments company Square Inc said late last week that it had started allowing select customers to buy and sell bitcoins on its Cash app.

Bitcoin traded as high as $8,197.81 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, up over 2 percent on the day and around 48 percent up since dipping to $5,555 on Nov. 12.

An eye-watering eightfold increase in the value of the volatile cryptocurrency since the start of the year has led to muliple warnings that the market is in a bubble, and institutional investors are broadly staying away.

Retail investors, however, as well as some hedge funds and family offices, are piling into the market. The “market cap” of all cryptocurrencies hit an all-time high of over $242 billion on Monday, according to trade website Coinmarketcap.

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