13 October 2017

Nigeria: 'Nigeria Is Far Ahead of Peers in Payment System'

The Managing Director, Integrated Cash Management Services (ICMS), Oluwaseun Bamisile, has said that contrary to assumption among Nigerians that Nigeria is behind in its financial system, the country is far ahead of its peers even the United States of America in payment system.

Bamisile, who stated this at the 2017 Nigerian Brands Awards held in Lagos recently said Nigeria has done better than even the US in terms of payment.

"If you look at the type of ATM we deploy in Nigeria, all ATM in the country have chips, some countries do not even do instant transfer. In the payment space, we are having the opportunity of moving ahead, the only aspect we haven't done well is in terms of mobile money payments and the reason is because of some of the government policies. As long as those policies start falling in place, the economy will take a full speed," he stated.

Bamisile, however, said despite this, 57 years after independence, Nigeria is far far behind her peers in many other aspects.

"If you take the population of Nigeria and check all the indications, the economy will do better, yes we are trying but we will still do better, if you look at it, there's no country in the world today or very few countries that the regulators have not completely outsourced some services especially in the area of cash logistics. You will find out in Nigeria, CBN still handles a lot of these things , and what it does is that it doesn't fill up sufficient capital for people," he stated.

According to him, one of the greatest cost most of the banks carry today is the cost of cash, adding that there has been some intervention measures.

"With our intervention, we have been able to help them manage most of the cash they hold, it is going to free up more cash for us for the progress of the economy", he pointed out.

Bamisile also spoke about the ATM system in the country saying "when we talk about the ATM, if you look at the density of the ATM in Nigeria, you will see that it is very low. Between the year 2014-2015,there were 14000 ATM in Nigeria, if you compare it with other countries that should be compared with Nigeria, you will see that ratio of ATM to the Nigeria population is very low.

Explaining further he said the government has done a lot about the deployment of more ATM. first by licensing of companies called AIDS.

He said the companies couldn't attain a kind of size that will suit the economy because the Naira note was not available, saying that there was no ICMS, which is operating centres that will make cash availability for ATM deployment.

He, however, said because of his company's intervention, there will be faster velocity of note, the velocity of the Naira will change, adding ICMS will ensure the taking away of notes that are not fit.

He also spoke on the effects of the cashless policy of the CBN on his company saying there is no economy in the world that is cashless.

According to him, the intervention of cashless policy actually increases the quantum of cash in the economy.

"All cashless transactions end up taking money from the ATM. The cashless opportunity supports our business because there will be availability of notes, come to think of it, why is the cashless policy not working in major markets like Alaba International, Ojo, Lagos and so on? Our intervention is going to make cash available in the economy. Our intervention supports it at the long run", he explained.

Bamidele, whose company , ICMS, clinched the Best Cash in Transit (CIT) in West Africa 2017 Gold award among other nominees, said his company, is one of the five companies licensed by the CBN for movement of cash in the country.

Speaking on the role played by his company in the financial services market, he said,

"ICMS provides services to assist Nigerian banks in managing their risks within the cash supply chains. ICMS provides cash in transit, vault management, cash processing, sorting and packing," he said.


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