Monday, March 20, 2023

Cashless policy: Experts advise Nigerian banks, telecoms to improve on IT infrastructure

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tiamin rice

Financial experts on Tuesday advised banks and mobile telecommunication companies to improve on their Information Technology capacity in order to ease the challenges of electronic transfer of funds.

They gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on the hassles Nigerians have been going through due to the naira redesigning and cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

A Financial Expert, Tunji Adepeju, said that the problem with electronic transfer in the country has to do with inadequate IT infrastructure.

“There is not as much use of PoS or USSD transfer before as we do now.

“Naturally, when there is pressure right from the internet service provider, there would be an overload, leading to poor network and due to the rush, there would be a crash.

“That is what we are having with our IT infrastructure now. You make a transfer and it doesn’t go at the right time or you use your PoS, your account is debited and the other party did not receive the credit.

“This is just unfortunate. I want to believe that the banks must be working on their infrastructure,” Mr Adepeju said.

He noted that the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) should also put up a more robust system in place, due to the increase in transfer rate.

“When you do a transfer, it will seem like it didn’t go, but if you do it again, you will be crediting the recipient twice.

“Again, if you do a transfer and you are using the One Time Password (OTP) to confirm the transfer, it ought to come in almost immediately after you requested it, but now, it comes about 15 to 20 minutes, which renders it invalid.

“These are issues that they have to look at from their respective banks and since everything goes through NIBSS, it also has to improve its server,” Mr Adepeju said.

Another financial expert, Lolade Adesola, was of the views that the cashless policy was for the good of all.

Adesola said that the policy ought to have been done gradually without a rush.

Also, an Economist, Samson Olalere, said that the overload on electronic transfers was due to the inability of Nigerians to access banking halls for their transactions.

“The IT capacity to cope with the traffic caused by the lack of cash was not prepared for, which led to congestion; hence, the difficulty to transfer.

“There was a need to expand the capacity of electronic transfer and internet banking before the policy was effected, but nobody was expecting it; even, the banks and NIBSS were not expecting it.

“They were operating on the capacity they had, which is about ratio one over 10 of what we are supposed to have, hence, the congestion in service and the inability to transfer money.

“This is affecting the people as the capacity of the banks and service providers is low,” Mr Olalere said.

NAN reports that NIBSS recent data for January 2023 showed a surge in the number of Nigerians, using mobile banking, putting the worth of registered mobile transactions for the period at N2.37 trillion.

This figure, which might be occasioned by the country’s ongoing cash shortage, represents a staggering 125 per cent increase over the same period in 2022.


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