Just a few days after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced new charges on withdrawal and deposit of funds above N500,000, the apex bank has reportedly directed the strict implementation of Merchant Service Charge (MSC), which would impose more charges on all point of sale (PoS) transactions.
According to The Nations, the directive on the ‘Unbundling of Merchant Settlement Amounts’ was contained in the CBN circular to banks, processors and switches, titled: ‘Review of Process for Merchants Collections on Electronic Transactions’.
The new policy stipulates N50 ‘Stamp Duties Payment’ on individual transactions that occur on PoS, rather than previous plans where charges occurred on aggregate transactions.
The circular signed by CBN Director, Payments System Management Department, Sam Okojere, authorised banks to unbundle merchant settlement amounts and charge applicable taxes and duties on individual transactions as stipulated by regulators.
The Merchant Service Charge (MSC) was also reviewed downward from 0.75 percent (capped at N1,200) to 0.50 percent (capped at N1,000).
The CBN and Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) are working closely, including setting emittance processes that ensure the stamp duty charges for PoS is collected.
MSC is the fee merchants such as supermarkets pay for payment customers make to them through electronic payment channels such as Point of Sales (PoS).
The payment agency reportedly added that the policy was put in place to ensure strict adherence to the CBN guideline communication on the subject, collection and remittance of statutory charges on receipts to Nigeria Postal Service under the Stamp Duties Act dated 15th January 2016.
According to the procedural processing guide for stamp duty Charges for PoS, web merchant and all deposit money banks (DMBs) are reportedly expected to download daily PoS/Web settlement report from their respective processors settlement file transfer portal.
Also, the PoS and web settlement processing officer shall ensure that stamp duties are correctly processed daily by downloading daily PoS/web transactions valued at N1,000 and above, noting the count of these transactions; multiply the count of these transactions by N50 and pass the corresponding debit/charge to the respective merchant accounts.