At the CBN briefing today (October 27th 2011) on their ‘Cashless Policy” set to take off by Jan 2012, the CBN informed participants that free P.O.S (Point of Sale) machines will be offered to traders of all works of life. The CBN policy limits the amount customers can withdraw or deposit into their bank accounts to N150,000 and N1m for individuals and corporates respectively. Since they are basically telling us that we can’t even deposit more than N150k as individuals (unless we are ready to pay charges), the question what do traders do with the proceeds of the sale of their merchandise.
Their response was nothing short of shocking or maybe hilarious. They said they will give traders P.O.S machines to traders for free. Even “akara and mama put” sellers won’t be left behind. They will all be given the machines and trained on how to use it. Even if they were to fulfill their desire to give them the machines, please just how will it be used? Imagine an akara seller under a bridge sitting between two gutters? Or imagine a trader in the every busy and often chaotic balogun market attending to a multitude of costumers. Rather than paying cash, they now issue debit cards. What about a more structured trade like that of Mr Biggs that attend to thousands of customers everyday with some paying as little as N1k. Add it up and you might be seeing a cash collection of about N5m everyday. They are suddenly faced with paying a fee for depositing above N1m per day. What about a hotel or chalet owner or beer parlour operator? The list is endless.
I like the CBN Cashless Policy but only the part that involves “Withdrawal”. I do believe they will reverse the policy on “Deposits” sooner rather than later.