CBN to investigate defaults on PoS compliance

The Central Bank of Nigeria is set to investigate merchants that have refused to comply with its directives on the Point of Sale charges.

The apex bank had directed merchants to stop the deduction of additional N50 stamp duty on PoS transactions carried out by customers.

Investigation revealed that some outlets have refused to comply with the directive and continued to deduct the charges from customers.

Some other merchants have been encouraging their customers to pay with cash, complaining that the network was bad on the PoS.

A source in the CBN told our correspondent that the appropriate department within the apex bank would wade into the issue.

The source said, “The implementation of the new charges only commenced on Wednesday; I will alert the appropriate department.”

Text messages and calls to the Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor, were yet to be responded to as of the time of filing this report.

Stakeholders had said that the N50 stamp duty charges on payment above N1, 000 on the PoS terminals and web platforms were hindering the cashless transaction initiative of the CBN.

Many customers had preferred to withdraw cash over the counter or at the ATM to pay for transactions in order to avoid the N50 PoS charge.

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission had on December 24, 2019 stopped the additional N50 charge imposed on transactions conducted through the PoS terminals.

The fee, which was said to have emanated from the CBN, was meant to be for consumers who selected the PoS option to conclude their purchases or transactions.

The CBN, in a circular to banks, processors and switches on September 17, 2019, had authorised banks to unbundle merchant settlement amounts and charge applicable taxes and duties on individual taxes and duties on individual transactions.

The merchant service charge was reviewed downward by the apex bank from 0.75 per cent (capped at N1,200) to 0.50 per cent (capped at N1,000).

The CBN directed all PoS and web processing officers to ensure that stamp duty was correctly processed daily by downloading transactions valued at N1,000 and above, multiply the count of the transactions by N50 and pass the corresponding debit to the respective merchant accounts.

However, some merchants had said that there was a reduction in their PoS transactions as customers adopted cash payments.

However, the CBN recently said its circular on merchants paying stamp duty did not say that the stamp duty should be paid by the consumer.
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