Point of Sale transactions recorded 175,911 failure rate or 15.55 per cent of total transactions on Tuesday, as the movement restriction directive of the Federal Government commenced.
According to the live PoS report of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Plc on Tuesday, by 8pm, the total volume of PoS transactions in the country was 1,152,646, with an average processing time of 2.93 seconds.
Many bank branches were also closed, while the lending institutions sent out messages to their customers to explore their electronic payment platforms.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had ordered a total restriction of movement in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buhari said the restriction would last for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday.
Subsequently, the Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria obtained Presidential approval to permit critical financial services to function during this period.
The CBN, said in a statement that, “Consequently, relevant security agencies have been requested to grant passage to critical staff of these institutions to enable essential and strategic financial transactions to go undisrupted during the period of the lockdown.
“These institutions include the Central Bank of Nigeria; Deposit Money Banks; the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System; Switching companies; Mobile money operators; and payment solution service providers.”
In view of the ongoing restrictions and in order to check further spread of the coronavirus disease, the CBN urged the general public to limit their use of cash and avail themselves of the use of alternative payment channels such as mobile banking, Internet banking, Mobile money, Point of Sale, and USSD.
Fidelity Bank had sent out a mail to its customers that, “Please be informed that all our branches in FCT, Lagos and Ogun states will operate extended hours on Monday, March 30, 2020, from 8am to 6pm.
“Our branches in these three states will be closed from Tuesday, March 31, 2020, to Monday, April 13, 2020, in observation of the 14 days lockdown directive issued by the Federal Government to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
“As always, our digital channels are available 24/7. Please make use of them for your transactions.”
Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc also said it had closed some of its branches, to safeguard the lives of its customers and employees.
It stated that branches that were operational could be found on the bank’s website.
The bank has also encouraged its customers to make use of its digital banking platforms for transactions during this period.
Ecobank said in a statement that its customers could utilise theEcobank Mobile App, Ecobank Online, EcobankPay, Ecobank OmniPlus, OmniLite and the RapidTransfer App without having to visit branches.
“This is as part of efforts to ensure social distancing which will help curtail the spread of COVID-19.
“Customers can bank from anywhere by utilising digital solutions to easily access their bank accounts, make payments, transfer funds, process salaries, and carry out other ancillary banking transactions from the comfort of their homes and offices without visiting branches.”