Charles Chinagorom, (not real name),a native of Umuaka had an urgent need to send money to his daughter in a private university in Ogun State, during the week the Federal Government declared a total lockdown in the country over Covid19. Chinagorom who really needed cash for his daughter and other family businesses, was confused and restless. There was no way to get the cash. Thousands of ATM machines failed to work during this period and to enter inside a banking hall of any commercial bank to transact business during the period was like a camel passing through the eye of a needle.
For days, Chinagorom was getting worried as his daughter was stranded in far away Ogun State. At this point, someone suggested to him to use the services of POS agents in the locality to run the business.. In less than 20 minutes, father and daughter became very happy as the transaction went successfully.
The above demonstrates the new strategy of doing business in Nigeria since the Central Bank of Nigeria introduced the cash-less economy into the country a couple of years ago. Many businesses in Nigeria have taken another dimension in positive terms and towards the ease of doing business. Chief among these dimensions is the introduction of point of sale machine otherwise known as POS. The POS machine is a device that allows you transact businesses with your ATM card without paying cash or visiting your bank to access cash.\
Coupled with the crisis of Covid19 which has made it very difficult for people to execute banking transactions in Nigeria today, POS agents have been busy making cool cash across the nation, especially in Umuaka. The local correspondent of Umuaka Times who visited the Afor Umuaka Modern Market reports that the market alone has ovver30 agents and each agency has at least two operators while some others have more.
Some people who use POS machines told Umuaka Times that it is easier and more convenient for them than to go to an ATM machine and wait almost 2 hours or more.
Not only in Afor Umuaka is the POS business making waves. Umuaka Times went round the entire villages in Umuaka and discovered that there are also more POS centres in the villages than in the market. From the calculations made by Umuaka Times, the POS business has given over 200 persons jobs in the entre Umuaka and more jobs are being created also.
As an electronic device which may fail anytime, the POS machines fail to produce the required results at times. Umuaka Times came across a customer of a particular POS centre who came to complain that the cash he sent from the centre, over a period of 4 days failed to reach the receiver, despite being issued with a POS transaction receipt which showed that the transaction was successful.
Another observation by Umuaka Times concerning the business and those who work as its agents is that almost all the agents who do the business have no regard to the Covid19 health risks. They have no water, soap or hand sanitizers to give their customers after they have used the machines. A female agent who spoke with Umuaka Times on the issue, claimed that Coronavirus did not reach the community. Another agent who spoke to Umuaka Times jokingly asked the Umuaka Times man, “If I give them water to wash hands, will I also give them food to eat?”
Be that as it may, there is likelihood that as the POS business centres are gaining new grounds in the community and Coronavirus may also be gaining grounds as well. In spite of all these, the operators of the business are busy smiling to the banks with their daily income. Thanks to the cash-less economy policy and the ease of doing business introduced into the country some years ago by the CBN.