The introduction of N50 stamp duty on individual transactions above N1000 has led to a reduction in the number of electronic payments processed by agent banking service providers on a daily basis.
As a result, customers affected by this policy have resorted to withdrawing money through the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and across-the-counter.
Looming danger: While members of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents (AMMBAN) in Nigeria are unhappy with the situation and threatened a protest, Nairametrics gathered that more filling stations in Lagos and Ogun states are gearing up to introduce the same N50 stamp duty charges on payment above N1,000 on PoS terminals and web platforms.
On the other hand, a few mini-marts in Lagos have stalled on the implementation of the policy owing to the fact that their customers could be lost in the process.
Reacting to the policy aftermath, Oluwasegun Abbey, a mobile money operator with agents in five locations in Kwara and Oyo states explained that he used to process between 800 and 900 transactions per day before the policy. However, with the current introduction of charges on individual payments, transactions have dwindled to 600 and 700 every day.
President of AMMBAN, Mr Victor Olojo noted that the policy had only made things worse and he called for a reversal of the policy which he believed would affect the CBN’s motives.
“It has grossly affected transactions. People now prefer to go back to the Automated Teller Machines rather than the PoS because of the charges.
“It is a big issue for us and we feel that the government needs to listen; that policy should be reversed. We have written a letter of protest to the CBN and other relevant stakeholders. We feel that the policy is anti-people because it is the same government that is driving financial inclusion that is also imposing this tax that is affecting those at the base of the pyramid,” he said.
What you should know: Recall that the CBN recently announced a review of the charges for merchant settlement in a bid to further advance the cash-less economy and to enhance the collection of applicable government revenues.
The Apex Bank approved that banks should unbundle merchant settlement amounts and charge applicable taxes and duties on individual transactions as stipulated by regulations.
CBN reviewed the Merchant Service Charge (MSC) from 0.75% capped at N1,200 to 0.50% capped at N1,000 while also disclosing its intention to charge bank customers making cash deposits and withdrawals. The charges, according to the Central Bank, would attract 3% processing fees for withdrawals and 2% processing fees for lodgments of amounts above N500,000 for individual accounts.