CAC registration directives negates CBN financial inclusion initiative – POS operators

Point of Sale (PoS) operators have kicked against the new directive of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for them to register with the commission, claiming that it negates the financial inclusion initiative of the CBN.

Recall that the CBN through the Corporate Affairs Commission on Monday,  issued a two-month registration deadline to Point of Sales companies, to register their agents, merchants, and individuals with the commission in line with legal requirements and the directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

According to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), there are over 1.9 million PoS terminals deployed by merchants and individuals nationwide.

Reacting to the July 7 deadline, the operators explained that the registration which would require money would impact on transaction cost paid by customers, and therefore discouraged people from patronising them.

According to Segun Ajayi, the financial inclusiveness initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria may also suffer a setback as many customers will now prefer to save their cash at home rather than being charged heavily for their online transactions.

“The PoS business was geared toward bringing the banks closer to the unbanked and making it easier for them. With all these charges including the 0.5 per cent cyber-security levy on customers, many people will be discouraged from putting their money in banks,’’ he said.

Another operator, Kemi Gbnero said while the initiative is a welcome development, if the registration process is not seamless, it may also force other people to abandon the business.

Miss Gbenro appealed to CAC to conduct the registration in line with best practices.

“I am a student and I use the proceeds from this business to pay my bills. The Commission should not do the registration in a way that will kill my business,’’ she said.

“I think that what the Federal Government is trying to do is to check things like this so that when fraud is perpetrated by a PoS agent, he or she can be easily traced,’’ she said.

Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents of Nigeria (AMMBAN) also argued that implementing the directive will put over 70 percent of PoS operators out of business thereby frustrating the financial inclusion initiative of the federal government.

Mr. Fasasi Atanda, national president, AMMBAN, said that the directive contradicts the current CBN agent banking regulations which clearly allow individuals to be onboarded as agents under the sub-agent category.

“Currently Nigeria has over 1.8 million agents in which over 70 percent are sub-agents without registered businesses, operating under agent network – super agent arrangements. They are the most penetrating channel of financial inclusion. Now, we want to eliminate them with CAC registration,” he stated.