Abuja -The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that 88,622 Point of Sales Terminal (POS) have been made available for the effective operation of the cashless Lagos programme.
Mr Marcus Zakaria, the Assistant Director, Banking Supervision, made this known on Tuesday, while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Bankers Committee meeting in Abuja. He said that in spite of the initial hiccups, appreciable progress had been made in the programme.
Zakaria noted that about 6,000 POS were made available in January. “Today, we have about 88,622 POS and we have registered over 151 merchants.
“All mobile payment operators are now fully integrated with the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), and 21 banks are currently registered on NIBSS Interbank Payment (NIP),’’ he said.
He said the banks were collaborating to come up with alternative channel of delivery on mobile banking, Internet banking, and electronic fund transfer, among others.
Zakaria said that campaigns on ways to improve on the programme were ongoing, adding that efforts were being made to ensure that people accept the programme.
“It is our belief that by the end of the year we would have attained at least a 150,000 POS in Lagos alone,’’ he said.
The CBN kicked off the Cashless Lagos Policy in January as a pilot scheme. The bank is expected to roll out the operations nationwide in 2013.
On bank charges, Zakaria said that banks were being charged to refund customers when they over charge them, and penalised them when they contravene laid down rules.
He said the CBN had set up a consumer protection department to allow consumers to lodge complaints, adding that “such complaints are not taken lightly by regulators’’.
“Indeed, they refer them to the subcommittee of the bankers committee on ethics and the issues are thoroughly investigated and the banks are penalised when found culpable.
“The regulators are not taking it lightly when banks are indulging in arbitrary over charging of customers,’’ Zakaria added
He noted that an exposures draft was being reviewed on guide to bank charges, adding that when ready, it would serve as a standard document for charging customers.
Mrs Sola David, the Chief Executive Officer of Stabic IBTC Bank, said that discussions were ongoing on strengthening consumer protection framework. This, she said, would ensure that customer dispute and complaints are promptly handled in the various banks.
“The Central Bank, together with the banks, is committed to strengthening our existing consumer protection processes so that our clients will understand that we are interested in protecting their interests.”
On the SME fund, Mr Oti Ikomi, the Chief Executive Officer, Key Stone Bank, said that women would be given more opportunity in the disbursement of funds.
“At this point, we are seeking input from a wide variety of stakeholders from micro finance banks and are looking at how to integrate some of the work with cashless Lagos.