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CBN Issues New Rule for E-Payment Channels

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has continued to give directives that deepen its cashless policy with its new rule for e-payment channels, especially the Point of Sale (PoS) machine. This new directive is coming barely a month after the CBN ordered that customers should no longer be charged N50 for transactions on the PoS.

The apex bank said it had upgraded the use of the PoS by merchants or other users. The new rule is particular to messages displayed by the PoS during transactions. Now, CBN said merchants are required to obtain Acquirer Device Validation certification or the applicable testing completion notification from its licensed card schemes.

The apex banker had identified the predominant use of a single messaging format for POS transactions as an obstacle to the use of pre-authorisation as a mode of payment in Nigeria.

In a statement signed by Director, Payment System Management Department, CBN, Musa Jimoh, “By this directive, all PoS terminal must have the capability for transaction pre-authorisation and sales completion. All card issuers are required to build the capability and enable the processes for pre-authorisation and sales-completion of transactions. Card schemes are also required to provide online simulators for acquirers and issuers to test their systems, when necessary.”

The deadline to meet the directive is set for July 31, 2020, but the directive takes immediate effect. Those who fail to meet the deadline will be sanctioned for non-compliance.

The use of PoS in the country has risen within the last three years, according to Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS). It was disclosed that over 146.3 million transactions were made in 2017; this stands for N1.4 trillion. In 2018, the worth of POS transaction rose to N2.3 trillion after a total of 285.9 million transactions was recorded

Meanwhile, in half-year 2019, 187.7 million transactions were recorded, representing N1.4 trillion. So POS has become a crucial driver of the cashless policy and deepening of financial inclusion in both urban and rural areas.

Recall that CBN had directed that the N50 POS Stamp Duty charge should be collected from businesses and not customers.

The bank also slashed withdrawal fees usually charged after the third withdrawal from Automated Teller Machines within the same month. CBN stated that the withdrawal fee charged for the use of other banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATM) has been reduced to N35, from N65 earlier charged, and the card maintenance fee has been reviewed to N50 every three months (quarterly), from the initial monthly period.

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