How to get a POS Terminal for your business in Nigeria

6526

Last week, my sister and I decided to travel on the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system in Lagos. We joined the queue expecting to buy a ticket with cash, but a ticketing officer used a POS terminal to generate tickets for each of us. We had not realised that this had been the norm for a while.

A lot of small business owners find the use of POS terminals as a payment option preferable to cash. This option eliminates the problem of not having the exact change for customers during transactions, and it also minimises employee theft. The fact that the businesses do not pay for the deployment and maintenance of the terminals either is also a big plus. Not that long ago, a photo was posted on the internet of a small shop in with 6 or 7 POS terminals hanging on the wall.

3610726_image_jpeg9f360c5ab7736510df54c882e9dbf188

Courtesy Voy/Nairaland

If you run a small business in Nigeria, you probably understand his/her logic.  From the lack of reliability from service providers to the lack of trustworthy staff, this method seems to be the ideal solution. My sister –  also a small business owner who runs a catering and event management company, sometimes has customers who want to pay immediately, by card. A POS terminal provides her with the option of accepting the exact agreed amount there an then without having to hunt for change, as well as providing her  customers with an instant payment notification. As she wanted to deploy a POS terminal at her business for the reasons highlighted above,  we did some research on our options in Nigeria and I will share my findings on where to get POS terminals in Nigeria, costs involved, and associated charges. But first, what is a POS terminal and is it safe for customers and businesses to use?

WHAT ON EARTH IS A POS TERMINAL?

If I have already lost you, and you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, apologies. A POS (Point Of Sale) terminal is a portable device that allows businesses accept bank card payments for transactions.

Initially, this payment solution was introduced to the Nigerian business space by the Central Bank as a way of  reducing the volume of cash transactions, as well as managing the risks associated with handling cash. In addition, it also encouraged the spread of electronic payment systems across the board. The Central Bank of Nigeria  appointed the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBTSS) Plc as the body to regulate the value chain in the following ways:

  • Protecting customers paying with their bank cards.
  • Protecting business owners from fraudulent “technical experts” who might install malware  to steal customers details. All terminals are maintained by the banks/issuing bodies.

So the NIBTSS is the Payment Terminal Service Aggregator (PTSA), and is the only approved entity by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) dealing with POS terminals. As such, they approve the Payment Terminal Service Providers (PTSP) who then have the task of identifying prospective merchants and winning them over. Please don’t be all surprised when they come begging you to get one. The list of approved PTSPs can be obtained here.

Payment Elastics by Kurt Bauschardt, on Flickr

Payment Elastics by Kurt Bauschardt, on Flickr

HOW TO GET A POS TERMINAL FROM AN APPROVED PTSP

During our research, we found that most POS terminals are issued by banks. If you are requesting a POS terminal from your bank, you will be directed to your account officer to obtain a form. However, some of these forms can equally be printed online. Here are the banks we contacted below:

ZENITH BANK

My sister had any account with there, so it was easy to obtain detailed information. At Zenith bank, you will need to have held your current account for at least 6 months prior to your application.

The application form requests the full business name, the business owner account number, the business email address, phone numbers and other minor details, and  processing takes 72 hours. You could email the form to possupportunit@zenithbank.com and also copy Zenithdirect@zenithbank.com. Zenithdirect@zenithbank.com is also the contact e-mail address to note if you have any problems.

The business owner will then be required to sign a POS agreement document with the bank. Upon approval, the POS terminal is delivered in less than two weeks to the business address indicated on the form.

GTBANK

In Guaranty Trust Bank, only current account owners qualify to receive POS terminals. Account owners must have held their accounts also for at least six months, just like Zenith Bank. The form is then  emailed to sme@gtbank.com or submitted to the account officer. The business owner is also required to sign the agreement form. See a detailed post here.

SKYE BANK

When we were tired of the research, we decided to put calls through. The customer care representative informed us that we could get the POS terminal even with a savings account as far as the relationship officer approved the request. Business owners also only need to fill the application form and the agreement, and then wait 14 days for a response.

NOTE:

  • Merchants do not purchase the POS terminal. However, there has to be a certain minimum activity to continue enjoying the service which includes routine free maintenance.
  • The terminals are serviced only through the banks.
  • There is a charge of 1.25% on successful transactions  which is deducted from completed transactions before being credited to your account.




The POS terminals discussed above have card processing capability. There are other functions of the terminal such as recharge card printing, utilities bills’ payments and other applications. The POS terminals used by the ticketing officers in the BRT couldn’t accept our debit cards, so  an application was installed to make it possible.

Also, it appears that most banks have limited POS terminals stock available, so they tend to heavily market other options.

For instance, at the bank whose logo is an orange square and a smaller white square, they delayed my sister and I as they were trying to market the ‘737’ alternative. 737 is a means where customers can pay by transferring money to the account of the business owner via their phone using the code and their debit card details.

In all, it was a wonderful learning experience. Most other banks we contacted had similar procedures in obtaining the POS terminal.

Caveat: This is not a sponsored post. The banks we contacted were random.

 

· · · · · ·

Comments

  • Great article. Very useful to small business owners that need POS machines. Also interesting to note that the use of POS machines can afford you access to financing for your business through lenders like Flex Advance. Check them out here: http://www.flexadvance.co and reach out if interested.

    Ada November 24, 2016 8:23 am
  • Please i am a Nigerian and i need P.O.S for business transaction. How can i get it. Thanks +2349031661124

    Oyediran March 24, 2017 5:24 pm
    • Hi Oyediran, thanks for the comment. Have you contacted your bank handling business transactions?

      Ethan Okoli March 26, 2017 10:43 am
  • Good morning. I live in Nigeria and I need a pos for my company. I may be needing up to 1000 or more. Please how can I get it. Because I don’t want to get from banks but will be link to my bank account letter. Please reply via the email

    odejoe April 9, 2017 8:38 am
    • Hi Joe, I know a company that can help you. I will e-mail you details shortly.

      Ethan Okoli April 14, 2017 1:17 pm
  • Hi can I get a p.o.s machine but not from the bank? Urgently neded

    Hassan April 24, 2017 3:08 pm
    • Hi Hassan,

      There’s a new independent company offering POS units through Accessbank. Can you please email emmanuel.johnson@sfourng.com to request a demo? Tell him you were referred by Mrpepe and he will know.

      Their office is based in Victoria Island and they can allow you test one and ask any questions you have before you buy. They can also put a support system in place for you so you have someone to go to if you ever have any issues.

      Ethan Okoli April 26, 2017 1:33 pm
  • Pls i need pos for my business how do I go about it . am living at Ajah Lagos 08168059016

    prince Umeoka April 24, 2017 11:06 pm
    • Hi Prince,

      There’s a new independent company offering POS units through Accessbank. Can you please email emmanuel.johnson@sfourng.com to request a demo? Tell him you were referred by Mrpepe and he will know.

      Their office is based in Victoria Island and they can allow you test one and ask any questions you have before you buy. They can also put a support system in place for you so you have someone to go to if you ever have any issues.

      Ethan Okoli April 26, 2017 1:34 pm
  • pls thanks for the information
    i have d POS frm UBA Bank but want the machine pls wat is the procedure and how can i get it. thanks

    Atagbo Daniel E May 12, 2017 7:17 am
  • For those interested in having the pos machine I worked with a firm that provides the pos machine to those into business.
    You can as well print recharge cards with wholesale price with. You pay for Arik flight ticket and many other services
    07035608229 or egbaihenry@yahoo.com

    Henry May 14, 2017 11:17 am
  • how much is a POS sold?

    peter June 3, 2017 12:53 pm
  • Hello, I am Nigerian and I want to open a POS terminal. Like having a shop where in an area where queues are much, in that case help with POS in withdrawals and then charge every withdrawal. How do I go about it? Like how do I start? Thanks

    Abdul-Aziz June 8, 2017 5:37 pm
  • Pls I need a POS I leave in Lagos Nigeria. pls help me out

    LUCY June 19, 2017 5:24 pm
  • Pls I need POS I leave in Lagos NIgeria. Pls how do I go about it. Pls help me out

    LUCY June 19, 2017 5:27 pm
  • Abdu contact me 08101352465 that is my buiz, i wil teach u everytin needed and also direct u 2 a bank manager always issue it 2 me as easy as posible

    Chima Eta July 7, 2017 3:46 pm

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *