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ePayment Stakeholders Gear for Cashless Initiative Relaunch

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Stakeholders in the epayment ecosystem have pledged their readiness to cope with challenges that may arise with the reintroduction of charges on cash withdrawals.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in a circular to all Deposit Money Banks directed that with effect from April 1, 2017, banks in the states where the cashless policy was already operating, Lagos, Ogun, Anambra, Abia, Kano, Rivers and the Federal Capital Territory, would begin to impose charges on deposits and withdrawals above N500,000.

Mrs. Regha Onajite, chief executive officer, Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (EPPAN) said: “The reintroduction of the cash processing fees is a means to help the Central Bank achieve its goal on transforming the nation to a country where we depend less on cash than on other modes of payments. Studies have shown that processing cash comes with a very high premium; these monies can be used for other things. Cash has its disadvantages such as security etcetera and those who have swung over to the digital side can tell you how convenient digital payments are.

“Ever before the introduction of the cashless policy the CBN has carried out its research and found that less than 10% of our population will be affected by this policy. For individuals, how many people do really pay or receive more than Five Hundred Thousand Naira on a daily basis? Cash processing fees are not punitive; it’s just a means of allowing people pay the price of their obsession to cash. We can spend money without necessarily touching cash.

“We understood the need for a break with the policy at the initial kick off. As an insider I can attest to the fact that we were all set and geared to go. But as a listening industry we had to step back when there was a cry for a little more time to get people to get used to the system. You can say now that there has been a lot of improvement in the system and the infrastructure is better than 2012 when we started. A lot of improvement has gone into the system in terms of policies, innovations and standardizations.

She added that, to cover lost ground, arrangements have been made to sensitize and mobilize the Nigerian citizens to understand the benefits of a cashless Nigeria and to adopt alternative payments modes instead of cash. E-PPAN will be going round the country in partnership with CBN and other stakeholders. With this adoption will be faster and in no time lost grounds will be covered quickly.

Reacting to this development, Tunde Ogungbade, managing director, Global Accelerex, said: “I believe that this is a welcomed development for all stakeholders, particularly, merchants and financial institutions.  The cost of cash management according to CBN was about N192B in 2012.  I have no doubt that now that number is much higher.  The various cashless options available in Nigeria today, especially via channels such as PoS and NIP, can help save this large cost related to cash management.  This will also help bring the estimated 65% of cash in circulation, considered to be outside of the formal economy into the banking system.  Finally, the risk of theft and loss will drastically reduce further, especially in the hinterland.  Today, most merchants fail to recognize the cost of cash management on their business.”

James Agada, Chief Executive Officer, CWG Plc, said that in several places such as US, Europe and even in India, ATMs and PoS devices are not even deployed by banks alone. It is the mixture of deployers that led to increased ATM penetration.

“Independent deployers and ATM networks treat ATM deployment and operation as a business proposition — they provide a value, people appreciate the value and pay for it. And in every business, there is growth when the business is inherently profitable, what users pay exceeds the cost to provide the service. An analysis of the share of market of independent ATM deployers across the globe shows clearly that where there is a strong, independent deployer presence, the ATM penetration is also high. And independent deployers only get in the game where it is profitable.”

 


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E-Financial

CBN Investigates 55 Companies over Forex Infractions

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Amidst sustained pressures on Nigeria’s official foreign exchange resources, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has opened investigations into foreign exchange transactions of 55 companies and individuals.

The apex bank linked them to foreign exchange deals outside the official Investors & Exporters (I&E) window.

CBN Investigates 55 Companies over Forex Infractions

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor

The I&E window was created by the CBN as the legitimate platform for buying and selling of foreign currencies.

Some of the major corporate organisations in the list include Stallion Nigeria Limited, a conglomerate involved in several sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The list also includes Nigeria’s leading electronic payment company, Interswitch Nigeria Limited, as well as a leading global shipping line, CMA CGM Nigeria Shipping Limited.

Other big names in the list include Petro-Afrique Energy Services Limited, Steel Force Far East Limited, Auto Petroleum Company Limited, Cavendish Mechanicals Limited, Aquashield Oil & Marine Limited, Haitch & Elf Integrated Services Limited, Fenog Nigeria Limited, and Promasidor Nigeria Limited.


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FG Makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

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Federal government on Friday apologised for asking all account holders in financial institutions in the country to re-register their personal details.

FG makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

Recall that the federal government had on Thursday ‎ordered that all persons holding accounts across financial institutions and insurance firms should complete and submit self-certification forms to their respective financial institutions.

The notice issued by the government to that effect read, ‎“This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc.) are required to obtain, complete, and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions.

“Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions are required to complete and submit the form to each one of the institutions. The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures, in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.‎”

The directive raised eyebrows, as account holders already possessed Bank Verification Numbers.

Following widespread condemnation that trailed the directive, the Federal Government backtracked on Friday, saying the fresh guidelin‎e was not for all Nigerians.

The government attributed the development to misinformation.

The clarification issued by the government on Friday read, ‎“We apologise for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. The message contained in the notice does not apply to everybody. ‎FIRS will clarify Nigerians on the objectives of the directive.”

Also on Friday, FIRS, in a statement posted on Twitter, explained that the guidelines were only for non-residents, as well as people paying tax in more than one country.

Parts of the FIRS statement read, “The Self Certification Form is basically to be administered on Reportable Persons, holding accounts in Financial institutions, that are regarded as “Reportable Financial Institutions” under the CRS.

“Reportable persons are often non-residents and other persons, who have residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or country.”

“The information that indicates an account holder is a resident for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction, is expected to be available to Financial Institutions during account opening processes, for the KYC and AML purpose.”


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Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

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Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has disowned Tope Olajide, 22-year-old fraudster arraigned for theft of customers deposits.

Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

The Bank said this in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement said: “The attention of the management of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has been drawn to news currently circulating in the media, about the alleged arraignment of staff of the Bank on charges bordering on the theft of customers deposits.

“The Bank would like to clarify that the defendant, a 22-year-old Tope Olajide, IS NOT, and was at no point in time an employee of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC.

“The alleged culprit was apprehended around 7:30 am, on Thursday, 27 August 2020, by security operatives after he was exposed by CCTV footage using ATM cards he had allegedly stolen and converted, to make withdrawals from the accounts tied to the stolen ATMs.

“The CCTV footage also showed the alleged culprit pretending to assist customers at ATMs whilst also attempting to fraudulently dispossess the customers of their ATMs.

“He was subsequently arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate Court on Monday, 14 September, for stealing the debit cards of two customers and using them to unlawfully withdraw the sum of N427,000.

“The Bank would also like to implore members of the public to be security conscious when conducting transactions at ATMs. Customers are advised to report any suspicious actions around them to security operatives who are usually stationed around the Bank’s ATMs, when carrying out transactions at any of our ATM locations.

“As an organisation, we hold dear the values of integrity, and we will continue to prioritise the safety of our customers effectively.”


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