One year to CBN’s financial inclusion vision 2020, cashless link still missing

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On Monday, the eve of the Ramadan celebration, anyone who worked into most of the banks in Nigeria would have noticed the unprecedented crowd of people inside the halls.

At a branch of GTBank in Apapa, the queue for customers waiting to collect cash over the counter was so long, the staircase was nearly blocked, and more people were still trooping in to get some cash for the holidays. The bank even had PoS ready for people with debit cards that couldn’t access the machines due to network. A few minutes later, the bank informed people on the deposit queue that due to network problems, there will be delay in posting their transactions.

At different ATMs around Ajah-Lekki axis in Lagos, people also waited on queues for hours waiting to withdraw cash to spend. Shopping malls and other merchants ditched their PoS machines and transfer options for cash payment because of erratic network fluctuations was delaying transactions and shoppers were beginning to agitate.

At a popular restaurant at Ikorodu, the manager pre-informed customers before they ordered for drinks or meal that money transfers was not allowed, PoS was not working, only cash was accepted. One visibly angry customer whipped out his phone and displayed the message his bank had sent him on Tuesday, 4 June, 2019:

“Dear esteemed customer,

We sincerely apologize for the delay you may have experienced in processing transactions on our digital platforms. This is due to a challenge with our national switching service platform designed for facilitating electronic payments.”

He turned to this reporter and asked “Why does it happen every weekend or holidays when they know people are going to need to make payment?”

It is barely days since Godwin Emefiele, the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) commenced … Read More...