Data supplied by the Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) has shown that the volume of point of sale (POS) transactions, which had declined to 25.77 million in February this year from 29.82 million in January, had picked up in March.

Last month, a total of 28.16 million transaction had been recorded on the channel. The value of the transactions had likewise picked up standing at N217.45 billion in March 2019. In February, the value of transactions done via the channel had been down to N193.42 billion from N222.92 billion that was recorded for January.

Failure rate was down to 14 per cent last week, while the failure rate of NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) was up to 1.6 per cent from 1.1 per cent. Last month, a total of N8.58 trillion had been transacted via the NIP channel.

This was an improvement considering that volume of transactions had declined in February to N7.46 trillion from N8.11 trillion in January. Likewise the volume of transaction was up to N87.93 million in March from N72.58 million in January.

NIBSS say it is expecting POS transactions to double in 2019 as it had recorded 285 million POS transactions in 2018, the highest ever recorded in the country according to the acting managing director and chief executive of NIBSS, Niyi Ajao.

Explaining the high failure rates experienced earlier in the year, Ajao said “we are expecting that the figure will double in 2019 because we had half of 2018’s figure in 2017 and that was why we embarked on an upgrade of our systems.

“A system glitch happened in the course of trying to upgrade capacity and unfortunately for us, other players in value chain had issues around that period and that compounded the problem. We started noticing the issues around December. The failure rate which was previously at 13 per cent climbed to around 16 per cent.

“Effective from March 22, POS transaction time-out period would be increased to 45 seconds from the present 15 seconds to reduce the failure rate. Banks have also agreed to dedicate a particular period of the day to treating reversal complaints to clear the backlog,” Ajao added.