How to Start POS in Nigeria: A Comprehensive Guide for Entrepreneurs
Are you thinking of starting a point-of-sale (POS) business in Nigeria? You're not alone. The demand for electronic payment services has been increasing rapidly in the country, as more people prefer using cards and mobile wallets over cash. In this article, we'll walk you through the steps to start a successful POS business in Nigeria, including the legal requirements, equipment needed, business setup, marketing strategies, and more.
Table of Contents
Understanding POS Business in Nigeria
Before diving into the process of starting a POS business, it's essential to understand what it is and how it works. A POS system allows merchants to accept electronic payments from customers via debit cards, credit cards, or mobile wallets. In Nigeria, POS machines are commonly used in retail stores, supermarkets, restaurants, and other businesses that need to process payments quickly and securely.
The Nigerian payment industry is regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). To start a POS business, you need to obtain a license from the CBN or partner with a licensed aggregator. The aggregator is a third-party company that connects merchants to the payment system and handles transaction processing, settlement, and reconciliation.
Legal Requirements for Starting a POS Business
To start a POS business in Nigeria, you need to comply with the legal requirements set by the CBN and other regulatory bodies. Here are the steps you need to take:
Register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). This is the first step to legally establish your business in Nigeria. You can register as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC), depending on your preference.
Apply for a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). This is a unique identifier that enables the government to track your tax obligations and contributions.
Obtain a license from the CBN or partner with a licensed aggregator. To get a CBN license, you need to apply through the Payment Service Providers Association of Nigeria (PSAN) and meet the eligibility criteria, such as having a minimum capital requirement of N100 million.
Register with the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS). This is a mandatory requirement for all payment service providers in Nigeria. NIBSS provides a central payment infrastructure that connects all banks and payment platforms in the country.
Equipment Needed for a POS Business
To run a POS business, you need to invest in the right equipment that can handle electronic transactions and provide a seamless customer experience. Here are the essential items you need to acquire:
POS Terminal: This is the device that merchants use to accept card payments. There are various types of POS terminals available in the market, such as mobile POS, countertop POS, and handheld POS. Choose the one that suits your business needs and budget.
Internet Connection: A stable and fast internet connection is crucial for POS transactions to work smoothly. You can use a Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, or Ethernet connection, depending on the availability and reliability in your location.
Power Backup: Since power outages are common in Nigeria, it's essential to have a backup power source that can keep your POS terminal running, such as a generator or UPS (uninterruptible power supply).
Printer: A receipt printer is necessary to generate receipts for customers after transactions. You can choose a thermal or impact printer, depending on your preference.
Business Setup for a POS Business
Once you have obtained the necessary licenses and equipment, it's time to set up your POS business. Here are the steps you need to take:
Choose a Location: You need to select a strategic location for your business, such as a busy street, shopping mall, or market. Make sure you have permission from the property owner or landlord before setting up your business.
Hire Staff: You need to hire competent and trustworthy staff to handle your POS business. You can train them on how to operate the POS terminal, handle customer inquiries, and troubleshoot technical issues.
Set Prices and Fees: You need to determine the prices and fees you will charge merchants for using your POS services. Make sure you consider factors such as transaction volume, merchant type, and competition in the market.
Create Marketing Strategies: You need to promote your POS business to attract more customers and merchants. You can use various marketing channels, such as social media, flyers, billboards, and referrals.
Starting a POS business in Nigeria can be a lucrative venture if done correctly. You need to comply with the legal requirements, invest in the right equipment, set up your business strategically, and create effective marketing strategies. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can establish a successful POS business that provides reliable and convenient payment services to merchants and customers.
Q1. How much does it cost to start a POS business in Nigeria?
A: The cost of starting a POS business in Nigeria varies depending on factors such as equipment type, location, and license fees. You may need to invest between N500,000 to N5 million, depending on your budget and business scale.
Q2. Can I start a POS business without a CBN license?
A: No, you cannot legally operate a POS business in Nigeria without a CBN license or partnership with a licensed aggregator.
Q3. How long does it take to obtain a CBN license for a POS business?
A: The processing time for CBN license application varies, but it can take between 3 to 6 months, depending on the completeness and accuracy of your application.
Q4. Can I offer additional services besides payment processing in my POS business?
A: Yes, you can expand your POS business to offer other services such as bill payment, airtime recharge, and fund transfer.
Q5. How can I ensure the security of my POS transactions?
A: You need to implement security measures such as encryption, two-factor authentication, and antivirus software to protect your POS system from fraud and hacking.