Insights on How to Start a POS Business in NigeriaJanuary 13, 2022
Have you ever wondered why POS business in Nigeria is so common in every nook and cranny of the streets of major cities? Curious right? There are about four POS outlets on some streets, so getting the necessary information from reliable sources wasn’t difficult.
Some of the things I found out are quite interesting. This write-up provides the steps to start a POS business in Nigeria and other relevant tips. So, relax and enjoy the sail through.
What is a POS business in Nigeria?
POS is an acronym for Point of Sale. Too wordy, right? I mean, no one wants to go about shouting point of sale when they can just say POS.
POS business in Nigeria started in 2013 after introducing agent banking into the financial system by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Agent banking is simply the use of individual agents by financial institutions to provide banking services to the final consumers.
POS businesses in Nigeria offer services such as cash withdrawal, cash deposit, cash transfer, recharge cards, bills and utility payments, account opening, and BVN enrollment.
POS business in Nigeria brings banking closer to people, especially in rural areas with limited ATMs and banks. The POS business gained popularity in 2020 during the lockdown period from the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people identified the need to provide banking services to people. Therefore, many people had to start a POS business in Nigeria.
According to a report by Businesday News, as of September 2021, there were about 307,000 POS machines in Nigeria compared to 30,000 ATMs and a little over 6,000 bank branches. That’s a pretty huge number gap.
Easy Steps to start a POS business in Nigeria
As it is with every business, the first thing you do before diving in is research it. Therefore, before starting a POS business in Nigeria, you should do your research.
Understand how POS works. Know the nitty-gritty about it. If you’re reading this and thinking about how to start, then you’re in the right place.
Get a location
Get a location for yourself. Determine where you want to set up shop. It could be your house, a kiosk, or the marketplace. Wherever you choose, be strategic. You can also decide to be mobile, especially when you work in an office environment.
Choose a financial institution and register with them
Decide which financial institution to be an agent for, and register your intention with them. The institutions will require valid means of identification, passport size photographs, BVN, business registration certificate with CAC, minimum of N50000 deposit, and tax identification number. You will also have to open an account for your POS business. This is where you’ll keep your available cash for transfers.
The institution then gives you the POS machine and educates you on how to use it. The machines are of different types grouped into two categories: analog and digital. Whichever one you want will depend on the amount of money you’re willing to invest.
Advertise your business
Once you have done your registration and have your business running, the next thing to do is advertise your business. Usually, you can do this via word of mouth. The use of banners with inscriptions such as “POS available here” and “Withdraw and Send Money here” is also very common. You could also paint your shops with these inscriptions. You can also consider online advertising. Let your contacts know the services you offer. You can recharge and pay bills for customers online as long as you have established a form of business credibility.
How Much Do I Need to Start a POS Business in Nigeria?
The amount of money you need to start a POS business in Nigeria is relative and depends on different variables. You can start a POS business in Nigeria with as low as N50,000 and as high as N250,000. It depends on the type of POS machine you choose, your location, how much cash you want to start with, and staff consideration.
The wonderful thing about starting a POS business in Nigeria is that you don’t need to invest in a physical location. You can run it from the comfort of your home or be mobile and offer your services to work colleagues. Of course, that’s if you’re not working in a bank.
Consider different options if you’re investing in a physical location for your POS business. An umbrella shed, a table, and a chair placed by the road would cost between 6,000 to 10,000. If you want to get a kiosk, stall, or shop, prepare between N15,000 to N150,000.
Agencies and Fintech Companies that Offer POS services to Agents in Nigeria
Many fintech institutions provide POS services in Nigeria for agents to start a POS business in Nigeria.
The following are the most common financial institutions and banks for POS business in Nigeria.
First bank of Nigeria runs and operates this company. With First Bank, you can register online to become an agent. All you need do is check out their website, get the necessary documents, and fill the form. Walk into any First bank branch and submit your documents.
Paga is a leading key player in providing financial services to customers in Nigeria, both online and offline. Log on to their website and fill a page agency interest form. Customer representatives will be in touch through the process till your registration is successful.
Bankly is one of the fastest-growing digital money-providing institutions in Nigeria. To become a bankly POS agent with Bankly, fill the “become a bankly agent form” on the website. A customer support team will be available to help you through the onboarding process.
This is a major stakeholder in providing offline banking to Nigerians. To be an Opay agent, follow the website prompts to create an Opay POS merchant account.
With the sole purpose of bringing the bank closer to the people, Access Bank Close is responsible for registering, issuing, and maintaining the bank’s POS businesses in Nigeria. To become an agent, walk into any Access Bank branch with the required documents, get registered, then start your business.
Other financial agencies include Paypal, Quick teller PayPoint, Palmpay, Eco bank Xpress point, UBA POS, and Baxi Box.
Advantages of Starting a POS Business in Nigeria
Now that you know how to start a POS business in Nigeria, you might be wondering,” what do I stand to gain?” There are lots of rewards in starting a POS business in Nigeria. We’ll be looking at them shortly.
Source of income
POS is a major source of income, whether at the basic level or as an extra source of income. Profits made in the POS business can be likened to daily wages. Instead of waiting for 30 days, you can calculate your daily profit by checking your records.
Another significant benefit you enjoy with POS business is that you don’t need so much capital. As stated earlier, you can start with as low as N50,000. It’s one of the fastest-growing businesses in Nigeria today.
When you station your business strategically, say, in a marketplace, then you’re sure to get numerous customers in a day. Access to unlimited customers ensures that you are constantly making profits. What a lucrative business!
Disadvantages of Starting a POS Business in Nigeria
For everything with an advantage, there’s always a disadvantage. One serious disadvantage of the POS business in Nigeria is network issues. Having network problems can delay or deny transactions. There could be cases of debit without crediting the designated account. Failed transactions and the inability to generate receipts may cause frustration to both the agents and customers.
Another disadvantage is the state of security in the country. Being a POS agent means that you will be dealing with a reasonable amount of cash which is usually not safe. Therefore, the security status in your location could pose a great setback because of theft and robbery cases.
Also, a POS business owner is at risk of fraudulent people. For instance, the case of bringing fake naira notes for deposit into an account. There’s also what is known as ‘false alert.’ That is when you get an alert that does not add up to your account balance. Yet the sender of the money requires that you give them cash for the transfer made to your account.
There are a lot of dubious acts that POS business owners experience. Hence, there’s the need to be vigilant and extra careful when carrying out transactions.
Most importantly, the pros of starting a POS business in Nigeria outweigh its disadvantages. Hence, I can safely recommend it as a business to start for anyone seeking to be self-employed or gain an extra source of income.
Read also: How to brand your business in Nigeria
How to Make Profit When You Start a POS Business in Nigeria
POS agents make a reasonable amount of profits daily. This depends on the level of patronage, which directly results from your location. Agents get a commission from their banks or financial institutions. Some financial institutions charge between 0.5% to 1.5% on every N1000.
POS businesses in Nigeria also profit from the amount they charge for cash withdrawal and other transactions they carry out for customers. The charges on cash withdrawal are fixed, depending on the amount, except when you want to retain new customers to become returning ones. Usually, the charge is N100 for N1,000-N5,000, N200 for N6,000-N10,000, N300 for N11,000-N15,000, and so on.
To start a POS business in Nigeria, you need to take all the necessary steps provided above. You should also not hesitate to talk to an existing POS business owner. That way, you’re sure not to make some of the mistakes they made.
As a POS vendor providing banking services, you must keep a record of every transaction. The record book is your “POS Bible,” where you detail your day-to-day activity. That way, you can calculate your profit and refer to any transaction that might have disputes.
Finally, consider a POS business if you’re thinking of starting a new business. The year is young, and you need that extra source of income. Read through again and note the necessary things you need to do. Take that bold step and START. Ire ooo
Do you have any questions? Leave a comment below.
- Omolara Ogundipe is a teacher, writer and ultimately a student of the world. She's on a mission of educating and improving people through her writings.