Poor network, scam forcing us to reject e-transfer despite cash scarcity: Lagos traders

Despite cash scarcity and rationing by banks, some traders in Lagos say they are still rejecting the electronic transfer of funds due to network issues and fraud.

The traders, in a survey, especially those engaging in petty trading, said bank network delays and failures had significantly and negatively impacted their businesses.

At major markets in Alimosho, Oshodi, and Mushin areas, it was observed that most traders have lost trust in cashless transactions.

Fatima Tunji, a corn seller, expressed frustration with her daily sales due to network delays and failures.

“Imagine today, I sold roasted corn of just N500 to a lady, and she said she would transfer the money to my account. You would not believe that the transfer was delayed for some time and eventually failed.

“That failed transfer ate into my profit margin. I ended up not receiving the money, and my customer also was unable to access the money. It was very frustrating,” she said.

Ufuoma Nnaji, a roasted yam and plantain seller who shared a similar experience said she had long stopped accepting transfers ever since a customer used a fake transfer alert to dupe her.

She said, “Since then, I decided that I will not sell to any customer that does not pay cash, especially now that I don’t have an Android phone that I can use to check my balance. The best I can do is to call a point of sale (PoS) operator that I know to carry out that service for me, but the customer bears the charges.”

Around Ikotun, Ejigbo, Ajao Estate and Mushin areas, only few ATMs at banks were dispensing cash to customers.

For banks with about five ATMs, it was observed that only one dispensed cash to customers.

To non-account holders with the banks, the ATM dispensed a maximum of N5000, while for those with an account with them, the machine paid a maximum of N10,000.

Some PoS operators who spoke to NAN said they were experiencing cash scarcity, urging commercial banks to ease the burden on Nigerians by regularly restocking and maintaining ATMs.

Hakeem Dosunmu, a PoS operator in Ajao Estate, said many of his colleagues had increased their charges due to the cash scarcity.

According to him, the N100 charge on N5,000 withdrawal had increased to N200 while the charge for N10,000 had doubled to N400.

“But, I have decided that I will still accept the normal N100 for N5,000 and N200 for N10,000. I say this because I am a Nigerian, and I know how difficult it is for people to survive this hardship,” he said.