The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has responded to the hike in service fees levied by POS agents.
According to the apex bank, it is now in talks with the POS operators and is working hard to find a solution.
In an interview with the Guardian, CBN Director of Corporate Communications Isah AbdulMumin stated, “Yes, the apex bank is aware of the move by POS agents to increase transaction charges.” The CBN understands their predicament. We are aware of their difficulties, but we are working with them to create common ground.”
Though the CBN has stated that it has not approved any increase in service charges by the agents, the operators contend that the difficult economic environment has compelled them to raise their fees.
According to Information Nigeria, the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN) recently announced a new pricing structure that would take effect on July 17, 2023.
Withdrawals between N1,000 and N2,400 will be charged N100, while withdrawals between N3,500 and N4,000 will be charged N200.
The charges continue to rise in increments according on the amount taken, up to N18,000-N20,000, when a N800 charge is imposed.
Similarly, deposits are subject to charges dependent on the amount, with N1,000 to N4,900 incurring a N100 charge and steadily increasing up to N41,000-N50,000 incurring an N600 charge.
The disclosure of these higher fees has alarmed Nigerians, particularly those in rural areas who rely primarily on PoS agents for speedy withdrawals and deposits.
Kayode Salako, Chairman of the Concerned POS Operators in Nigeria, condemned the charge increase as outrageous and hurtful to many Nigerians who are already struggling financially.
“While we agree that the new cashless and fuel subsidy removal policies have had a significant impact on businesses,” Salami said, “we believe the best thing for now is for the association to fight for how to make business easier for agents and the masses by fighting for some preference from the government to at least allow PoS operators to have access to cash if it takes the bank to increase their daily withdrawal limit.”
Although the new charges were not yet in place in Abuja, the nation’s capital, and Lagos State, the commercial center, research revealed that operators in other regions of the country had implemented them.
Favour Asagwara, a POS attendant in Lagos State’s Abule-Egba district, acknowledged that previous service charges were still available in the region.
“It’s still N100 for N5,000; N200 for N10,000; N300 for N15,000; and N400 for N20,000, etc.” “The increase was last implemented during the new naira policy,” she explained.