Nigeria’s Central Bank approves incentive scheme for electronic payments

The Central Bank of Nigeria is attempting to drive the adoption of electronic payments by approving an industry-wide incentive scheme.

In a bid to promote financial inclusion, the Electronic Payments Incentive Scheme (EPIS) will reward those consumers, merchants and sales persons who use electronic payments. The CBN made the announcement to all Deposit Money Banks and Payments System Services Providers which was signed by Director, Banking and Payments System Department, Dipo Fatokun on September 19.

The Merchants Service Charge (MSC) rate will be reduced from the current 1.25 per cent or N2,000 to 0.75 per cent or a maximum of N1,200 per transaction from November 1, 2014. The current sharing ratio among the various participants will be retained.

The CBN also noted that free Commission on Turnover (COT) will be accelerated ahead of the dates on the Guide to Bank Charges, for merchants. Therefore, all electronic inflows into the accounts of merchants will be exempted from the calculation of COT at the end of each month beginning from November 1, 2014.

While the Nigerian Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) Plc will administer rewards to merchants through a mystery shopper and recognition campaign from November 1, 2014, the NIBSS will also collaborate with Deposit Money Banks for the implementation of POS functionalities that will permit merchants to offer cash-out services to their customers from January 1, 2015.

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