More individuals and businesses in Nigeria are seen adopting fintech bank apps as a means to escape excess charges and delayed services from commercial banks.
According to a BusinessDay survey, six out of 10 points of sale (PoS) operators and customers are shifting to wallets like Opay, Moniepoint, Paga, and Kuda, among others to carry out transactions.
Nelson Uwa, a PoS operator, says the services of fintech are much more seamless than the bank.
“I make use of Moniepoint, Opay, and First bank Pos in my business, it’s of a clear note that the difference is very clear in terms of network, service rendered, etc.”
In terms of service, he said “As a result of the network issue associated with banks I prefer to use my moneipoint and Opay machine for my customers because it hardly encounters network glitches compared to my first bank PoS machine.
With the current situation in the economy, Uwa said, “if these fintech firms can provide physical cash for operators then they can beat the banks of the system.”
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Similarly, Chidozie Michael said he carries out transactions using the Opay app and has never incurred any glitch and the charges are minimal.
“Whenever I carry out any transaction using either my Opay card or app, I don’t incur any charge compared to when I was a bank customer at one of the tier-one banks,” he said.
As charges imposed on banking customers on every single transaction carried out using their various online channels continue to bite, many are found to switch over to fintech apps to avoid incurring such charges.
This deduction, which is quite different from the normal bank transfer charges, varies from N700, N300, and N250 as complained by bank customers on social media, and has been adopted by various tier-one banks.
Owoyele Yusuf, a Twitter user said “Can you please explain this deduction for me because I didn’t understand this, after your ridiculous way of deduction from the account. Why now? What is the Electronic money transfer Levy? CBN was preaching a cashless policy and the banks were cutting our neck.”
Nelson Onyenwe, a wine store owner at Ikotun said. “If a businessman does like five different transactions every day, it means they are going to lose this amount in different places which means we are encountering loss by dealing with bank e-transactions.”
Banks need to review these transfer and POS charges because that nonsense blanket charge is rubbish, they should be zero charges under certain amounts and a fixed percentage for others, said El Jefe in his tweet.
Adedeji Olowe, A fintech expert explained that overcharging the masses does not make the push to achieve a cashless economy seamless as it is more likely to affect the poor Nigerians.
“If CBN wants to go cashless then it should make transfers free. The poor are most affected by the cashless, and the elites (the CBN and bank executives) think about money and value differently. Time is expensive for the executives, so paying N50 for the transfer is nothing to them. But for the poor, every kobo counts,” he said
A source in one of the Tier-one banks who pleaded to remain anonymous said “The directives come from CBN and I wouldn’t know if other banks have different charge orders than what we charge.
“We are going cashless and are in this business to make money. We are focusing on e-channels and there are so many things we need to adopt and adapt to. We need to tie our hearts and achieve it,” she said.
According to her, everybody is expected to embrace the cashless policy and cope with the obstacles around.
“The levy doesn’t make any sense to me. They said they are using the money for tax and other things but to me, I don’t see what they are doing. It is going inside a government account. Everything will be rectified. The regulatory body is bringing out these policies and they know who and what they are fighting (corruption). Everybody will join despite the obstacles,” another source from the bank said.
Meanwhile, CBN said the receiving bank is required to deduct the Levy from the amount payable where the receiver is a walk-in customer that does not have an account with the bank.