PoS Fraud: Nigerians Ask CBN To Intervene, Decry Impact On Business

Following increasing public outcry, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been asked to take urgent steps toward curbing worsening cases of fraud bedeviling Point of Sale (PoS) businesses across the nation.

Participants made the call during an anti-corruption radio programme, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE, produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, Wednesday in Abuja.
A recent investigative report by the International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) had exposed that the thriving multi-billion-naira business is threatened by the high infiltration of fraudsters and the unguaranteed safety of operators, as well as customers.
Speaking during the programme, ICIR reporter Harrison Edeh, who spearheaded the investigation, called on the apex bank to immediately review its policy regarding the PoS innovation, stressing that CBN must be proactive and intelligent in order to ensure that fraudsters and criminals are stopped from undermining the innovation.
According to Edeh, several PoS operators he interacted with during the investigation are groaning over the increasing attack by fraudsters who manipulate gaps in the system to their detriment, adding that a policy audit will help CBN to monitor the loopholes in the PoS innovation to be a step ahead of the exploiters.
“Government needs to be more proactive. They need to think ahead, these guys (PoS fraudsters) are smarter in the sense that they are tech-savvy. This is an era of technology. Most of them research how to manipulate the system.
“So the government needs to be ahead, not playing from behind. They need to be ahead of such that each policy should be able to address from time to time some of these problems unraveled in our report.
“There must be a strategy to audit that policy and how it has affected the lives of the people because the policy is for the people, and when you don’t audit in this technology era, the fraudsters are tech-savvy and would exploit any loophole that they see in the system,” Edeh warned.

Discussants during Public Conscience on Radio

On his part, Abuja-based PoS operator, Prince Adewale said stringent measures by CBN were long overdue, while pleading for the assistance of President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government in tackling fraudulent acts PoS operators are faced with currently in Nigeria.
Adewale revealed that criminals undermine the PoS business mainly through sending “fake bank alert” to the unsuspecting operator, who will then give out cash for money not received.
Recounting some of his ordeals, Adewale had this to say: “In the first year of my operation, I had a lot of issues with fraudsters. They came with fake alerts, which made me lose a lot of money that I can’t even mention.
“Some of my colleagues have been attacked by armed robbers at gunpoint many times at POS points, and they would lose all their money, and many of them would have to close their shops and go back to square one.”
Adewale, while emphasizing that Nigerian youths stand to lose more employment opportunities if the CBN does not intervene swiftly, however, called on the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to assist PoS operators other than extorting them when they bring complaints to them.
Other PoS operators in Abuja, the nation’s capital, and its environs who called into the programme vented their frustrations following the rising fraud cases.

PRIMORG Team during Public Conscience on Radio

The booming PoS business began in Nigeria after CBN introduced the agent banking system in 2013. The innovation opened up a new portal for financial services to reach bank customers in remote, unbanked, and underbanked societies.
Public Conscience is a syndicated weekly anti-corruption radio program used by PRIMORG to draw government and citizens’ attention to corruption and integrity issues in Nigeria.
The program has the support of the MacArthur Foundation.

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