POS MACHINES: A Game-changer Amid The Pandemic

POS MACHINES: A Game-changer Amid The Pandemic

There’s a tremendous rise of point of sale (POS) business transactions in Africa since the global economy was hit by the pandemic.

Prior to Covid-19 affecting the ecosystem, the introduction of the POS Machine particularly in Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria has ease the stress of everyday transactions.

What’s a POS Machine?

Point of sale machine popularly called POS Machine is a simple and mobile electronic device that enables businesses to accept bank card payments for an easy and quick transaction.

These days you see countless number of kiosks serving as a stand point for POS Machine services. This has helped in reducing ATM congested queues in different corners of African countries due to the negative effect of Covid-19.

Today, acquiring a POS machine is one of the quick means of making money in such a period where banks are usually crowded with people numbered serially in order to make a transaction that may take less than a minute.

In 2020, over 117,000 POS machines were deployed in Nigeria. We could say that the point on sale business was initially driven by the previous wave of people owning the machine in the local community to make ends meet. But what seems to lead the enormous increase of point on sale business is Covid-19 as people sought out easy ways to make money right outside their houses in the neighborhood. It is so common that people no longer need a sophisticated kiosk to start with, as they could easily meet a carpenter or a welder to make one at a cheaper rate.

Despite the economic challenges, POS business owners are still smiling. Interviewing POS owners on the streets of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, Blessing Adetayo shared how business has been competitive due to new POS kiosks flooding the streets.

“Before, business was really booming. On a daily basis, we used to get about 60 to 70 customers patronizing us. We charge N100 from 1k to 5k for withdrawal transactions and N200 if it’s above.

Sometimes, I get to attend to more than one customer at the same time. We make at least 12k a day spending a thousand or more to buy papers for receipt printing. But things has really changed now. Profit has dropped by 50% and sometimes way more.”

Speaking to Ajoka Matthew, a bachelor who recently established his POS business, we learnt how excited he was to be taking a bite from the rectangular cake almost his height.

What prompted you to start the POS business?

Matthew:

I finished NYSC (Nigerian Youth Service Corps) a year ago, and I’ve been unable to secure a job. But with something like this (the POS business), I’ll be making some money and that’s the reason I started. As it is now, it’s competitive all over. Before, it takes time to find a POS stand but now it’s everywhere. Since there’s no employment, this is putting food on the table at the end of the day.

How many customers do you get in a day?

Matthew:

It depends. Sometimes 10 and at times lesser. Averagely, I make N1000 and above since I just started.

Ajoka Matthew studied Physics at the University of Agriculture, Makurdi. He is one among many who believes that one day he would work professionally with his degree.

The POS business has grown to satisfy customers. Since it’s everywhere, everyone gets attended to in the shortest period of time. Unlike ATM transactions, there have been few cases of robbery.

With the rise of point on sale business which is basically fiat currency exchange and the previous ban of cryptocurrency transactions, the sad truth is that it reveals how the Nigerian economy is still cash-dependent.

Also beside the pandemic, ATMs have not been able to consistently provide people with cash due to technical problems and cash getting exhausted due to the number of transactions. This demand gap has pushed more Africans to visit POS kiosks regularly for their cash needs.

By Elijah Christopher

Elijah Christopher

Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.

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