Cashless policy boosts banks profits – CBN

By The Citizen

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Tuesday revealed that the introduction of the cashless policy since last year had led to a 35 percent reduction in commercial banks' operating expenses.

The Head of Shared Services, CBN, Mr. Chidi Umeano,who was represented byMrs. Monica Adoghe, of the Shared Services Department said this at the ongoing Card Expo Conference and Exhibition, which commenced in Lagos yesterday.

Umeano also pointed out that the number of point of sale (POS) terminals in the country had been on the increase since December 2011, even as he put the total number of POS deployed as at April 29th, this year at 117,412.

This, according to him, represented an increase of over 249 per cent, compared to the 5,992 recorded as at end of January 2012.
'The target of purchasing at least 10,000 POS terminals per vendor has been met and registered merchants reached an all-time high at 184, 182 as at 29 April 2013,' he said.

Umeano further stressed that the partnership with major stakeholders is key for the success of the entire program.
'In terms of technology and communication, we are working with NigComSat to provide Wi-Fi hotspots in each of the six states for the phase 2 roll out and for communication; we are in partnership with the National orientation agency (NOA) and other private firms for a successful sensitisation and communication,' he added.

On his part, the Head Business Development, Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), Mr. Samuel Goriola Oluremi, said that in order to further encourage the usage of POS and also promote the cashless policy,  the central bank and other stakeholders would extend the cashless policy to six other states in the country.

The states are Ogun, Abia, Anambra, Rivers, Kano and the Federal Capital Territory.

He stressed that it was imperative to improve communication infrastructure.

Oluremi urged banks to always engage merchants, saying: 'There is need for banks to contact merchants and engage them to accept card payment and implement a reward program from the merchants.'