Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal are an important tool for Mobile Money Agents to facilitate different types of transactions. This lesson covers the basics on POS - how they work, types of POSs, and more.

A point-of-sale (POS) terminal is a hardware system for processing card payments and other transactions at retail locations. With a POS, customers who have debit or credit cards can transact with the POS operator for CICO transactions, or any other service programmed into the POS.

  • The customer puts in his/her debit/credit card in the POS
  • The customer selects the service he/she wants to make payment for
  • The customer puts in his security PIN to approve the payment
  • The payment is deducted from the customer’s account and transferred to the relevant account of the POS merchant.

The POS can be used for:

  1. Cash Out: In a case where a customer wants to withdraw cash from his account, he transfers money to the Agent using his/her debit/credit via the POS and the agent gives the customer cash in return.
  2. Bills Payment: For POSs that are programmed to accept bills payment, the customer pays directly for the bill through the POS and gets relevant confirmation. E.g, Power Vending POSs will auto generate and print your meter code when you make payment through a POS.
  3. Cash in: Some POSs allow you to transfer money into the cards owners account. In this case, the customer comes with cash to be deposited into his/her account, gives the agent the cash, and puts his/her debit card into the POS, and the agent directly transfers money from his account/wallet to the customer’s account/wallet tied to the card. In other words, the agent will not need to collect the customer’s account number to effect a direct transfer.

Yes. Licensed Mobile Money operators issue debit cards that are tied to wallets. This means that holders of these wallets will have cards they can use on ATMs and POSs as if they had an actual bank account. 

Yes. This means then when you make any transaction through that POS, the money will be deposited in the wallet attached to the POS. Most Operators who are not banks attach their POSs to your agent wallet with them.

There are currently 3 types of POSs in the market:

  • mPOS (or Mobile POS)
  • Regular POS
  • Android POS
We will discuss more about each type shortly.

The three current ways to get a POS are:

  1. Buy one: Some operators allow agents to buy a POS from them. In this case, you own the POS and there is no pressure from the operator on your performance.
  2. Get from your MMO/Bank based on performance: This is very common - where the operator specifies a performance metric (e.g Volume of transactions per month) as a basis for giving you the POS. If you get a POS this way, it remains the property of the operator, and when you stop meeting the targets, the operator can retrieve the POS from you and re-issue it to another agent.
  3. Get from an aggregator: Aggregators are entities who organize a group of agents and help them succeed. They interface with the operator on behalf of the agent. Most times, the aggregator purchases the POSs or accepts liability for it from the bank, and then gives them to their agents. 
Most operators and aggregators will only give POS terminals, free,  to operators with track record. This is because it costs them money to get a POS and if they can't see a track record, there is no financial justification to give a POS, as, if the person ends up not doing transactions with it, it will be their loss. In all honesty, they have a point.

No. Because the POS will have to be programmed by a PTSP (Payment terminal service provider) and connected to your account with a wallet before you can start operation.

Yes, as long as it's your own POS (i.e you bought it). To do this, you have to speak to the new operators you want to switch to, and they will give you instructions on what to do You will also need to speak to your old operators to deactivate your account.

Banks hardly sell POSs to agents. They give POSs to agents based on performance. However, most operators are willing to sell POSs to agents who want them. Some operators who sell POSs now are:

  • Paga
  • Interswitch - 
  • iTex
  • Pay Centre etc
Any operator that sells you a POS will have the POS connected to your account/ wallet with them. So, if GTBank gives you a POS, it will be tied to your GTBank Agent Account. If Paga gives you a POS, it will be tied to your paga agent wallet.

Typically, yes. However, it depends on the type of POS the operator uses and issues. For example, if an operator built their system based on the mPOS, they will not be able to offer you a standard POS.

It takes an average of 2-3weeks. This depends largely on the operator.