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Unified Payments Addresses Issues at PoS with Solution

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Unified Payments, an electronic payment service provider is to launch a solution that will address the challenges of poor telecommunications infrastructure at Point of Sale (PoS) terminals, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek  has learnt.

PoS terminals are provided with connectivity through GSM subscriber identity module (SIM).

The terminal uses the GPRS service of the network to communicate with the network infrastructure of the terminal deployer in this case CBN licensed Payments Terminal Service Providers (PTSP) and National Central Switch as Payments Terminal Service Aggregator (PTSA) for the industry.

Stakeholders in the electronic payment industry have identified poor telecommunications service as the major challenge affecting the adoption of PoS terminals as means of payment.

Agada Apochi, managing director, Unified Payments, told  Nigeria CommunicationsWeek that as a pioneer electronic payment service provider in the country, it was their desire that Nigerians have unhindered payment experience at PoS which informed the company’s plan to launch a solution that will enable customers at merchant locations to make payment without relying on telecommunications infrastructure.

“Payment does not exist in a vacuum, payment is dependent on other infrastructure, for instance, for you to do a successful transaction over e-payment channels be it ATM, PoS and internet you will require a reliable communications infrastructure. Today, that is a major challenge in Nigeria. The payment industry cannot build its own telecommunications infrastructure, it will have to rely on the available telecom infrastructure,” he said.

He noted that: “as a pioneer in the industry, we believe that poor telecommunications infrastructure should not be a reason for a cardholder not to use the e-payment channels. We should build confidence in the users and that is why we are introducing this pioneering solution, were those who subscriber to the solution will be able to make payment whether or not there is telecommunications service. In few months from now, it will be possible for a cardholder to go to a PoS terminal and be able to make payment notwithstanding the communications challenge, either the communications challenge is with your bank not been available or the PoS terminal was not able to connect with other service providers, you will be able to make payment. That is the solution we are coming out with before the end of the year”.

It would be recalled that Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) operators of National Central Switch the industry Payments Terminal Service Aggregator (PTSA) has recommended a switch from GSM service to CDMA for Payments Terminal Service Providers (PTSP) to address the challenge of poor communications link at PoS. This was a fallout of result of field market research conducted by NIBSS which found telecommunications network connectivity difficulties accounting for 58.5% of challenges merchants face in Point of Sale (PoS) transactions.

Samuel Oluyemi, head, Business Strategy, NIBBS, who disclosed this said that the field market research main goal was to provide to NIBSS, as Payments Terminal Service Aggregator for the industry (PTSA), a clear guidance on the improvement areas for NIBSS services, as well as to support other stakeholder in the Nigerian Payment System, how to achieve increased volumes of transactions on PoS Terminals in Nigeria.

Other challenges include transactions charges 47.2%, customer insistence to pay in cash 31.3%, transactions often rejected account for 29.1%, card reading difficulties 27.4% and customers’ do not have cards 26.5%.


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E-Financial

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

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Mrs Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, has said the Federal Government sacked some past members of the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) as they indulged in corruption.

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

Inaugurating the new members, the minister charged the new members to eschew corruption and be forthright.

Bar. Azi Amos Isaac was appointed as Chairman for a five year term and Bar. Nosa Smart Osemwengie, was re-appointed as member for a second term of four years.

“The problem with the tribunal has been infighting amongst members, lack of industrial harmony and series of complaints bordering on maladministration.

“This has been the bane of the tribunal and a source of embarrassment not only for the Ministry of Finance but for the government in general,” Ahmed said.

The new chairman, Azi, assured the finance minister that, “the teething issue of restiveness has been addressed since he assumed duty,” adding that, “The place is calm and the staff have become very supportive.”

Azi said since 2003, the tribunal has “given judgment in the value of assets worth over N844 billion and that from 2017 to date, they have given decisions in monetary value totalling over N28bn.

“It has not failed in its adjudicatory responsibility.

“It has carried out its assignment with candour and integrity and intends to improve on what has been on ground.”

 


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CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned transfer of foreign exchange (forex) from one customer to another.

CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

According to the apex bank, forex cash lodgements into domiciliary accounts can only be done by the account owners henceforth.

An internal memo available in the media space explains that the new guidelines are necessary to review the utilisation of inflows into customers domiciliary accounts.

The circular states: “Forex inflows cannot be credited to customers until the legitimacy of funds is established.

“They can have unfettered access by telegraphic transfers up to a limit of $40,000 monthly for payment of medical bills, school fees, subscription to professional bodies subject to existing CBN guidelines.

“Transfers from one customer to another is prohibited. Transfer within related companies is allowed subject to a limit of $50,000 per month.”

It recommended that proceeds from non-oil exports should be sold to banks, used for repayment of dollar term loans, and self-utilisation for trade transactions for LC, bills and Form A.

Also oil export proceeds from E&P companies are to be used to pay contractors and service providers employed by the oil companies in addition to the recommended uses for non-oil FX proceeds.

Offshore forex inflows from other Nigerian banks and internal account to forex transfers sourced from offshore inflows are to be used for trade transactions subject to eligibility for E-Form M.

“Upon confirmation of the legitimacy of the inflows, customers can have unfettered access, subject to a maximum of $50,000,” the document read.

“Utilisation for trade transactions subject to processing of eligible trade transactions using E-Form M. Payment for services must be backed with demand note from offshore beneficiary and other regulatory documents.

“Related party transfers are allowed to the maximum of the inflow received. The transfer request should be backed by a signed instruction from the account holder.” Payment of government fees and levies are also allowed to the maritime, oil and gas, aviation. government parastatals and export processing zones.

 


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Stanbic IBTC, Standard Bank, Listed Among Top African Corporate Brands

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Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and its parent company, Standard Bank, have emerged amongst the top winners of the 2020 Tech Times’ Africa LinkedIn Corporate Brand Awards.

The Stanbic IBTC Group emerged the second position in the category, with total votes of 3,515, out of 24 firms nominated for the award. Standard Bank placed the fourth 2,494 votes.

Nominations for this award opened to the public on July 1, 2020 and closed on July 14.

Shortlisted nominees were announced on August 24 while voting commenced immediately and voting ended on September 8, 2020.

The Corporate Brand Awards was instituted by Tech Times’ Africa, an online platform for leading technology, innovation, and startup stories.

Expressing his delight on the awards, Dr Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, said that both Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Standard Bank had been deliberate and consistent in making a remarkable impact in Africa’s financial sector.

“Our sincere appreciation goes to the organisers of the Africa Corporate Brands Awards and to every member of the public who voted. This is a reflection of the high level of trust and confidence that the public has reposed on us,” he added.

Dr Sogunle further said that Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC would remain relentless in portraying the organisation as one of the most influential corporate brands in Africa.

He stated: “Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Standard Bank have relentlessly contributed to driving the growth and development of the African financial ecosystem. These awards affirm our efforts, and we are encouraged to raise the bar continually.”

The Africa Corporate Brand Award is designed to identify and recognise outstanding companies. It also projects their achievements and impacts on African society and the world at large.


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