Today, it’s almost impossible to walk down a street and not see POS(Point of Sale) Merchants. They are a huge part of reducing the stress that comes with withdrawing cash. No more walking into the long queues at a bank or getting to an ATM machine that doesn’t work. In Nigeria, POS merchants provide cash easily at a higher fee than the banks using POS machines.
We got curious about what POS merchants do and how they make money so we had a Chat with Mr Abdul Salam Ridwan, a POS vendor located in Bariga, Shomolu local government in Lagos State, to give us a little insight into what goes on in the POS business.
How would you describe your experience as a POS merchant?
I like to think it's a fair business, it has its perks and challenges, but that's the nature of any business in Nigeria. So, irrespective of some minor problems here and there, I consider it an easy business.
Take us through how you started your POS business and when?
From my previous experiences in the money business, I took a risk In July 2020 when I felt the need to run a side hustle alongside my other job as a Teacher. It was a pretty straightforward process, and anyone can wake up today and start theirs with the right amount of money; I made a consultation, weighed my pros and cons, met up with a bank manager, finalized some details here and there. Then had a meeting with a POS device aggregator; the whole process lasted about a week, and it only cost me #50,000 Naira to start running my own business.
Do you consider being a POS vendor a risky business?
Extremely risky, honestly. But the risk that takes the cake is when customers pay and withdraw, and then the transaction gets reversed after it seemed like the transaction was successful. Unfortunately, this happens a lot and leaves me at a loss because there's no way to reach out to the customers to get my money back, and there's nothing the bank can do to rectify the situation.
What's a major problem in the POS business?
I think it's becoming too saturated, so literally, everybody runs a POS business. In a crowded Yaba market, there are at least 8 different vendors at every nook and cranny. So the competition is a lot, and it leads to low customer turnout for me, which I despise.
Considering how old your business is, are there any parts of it you like?
I particularly like other people interested in starting a business on their own. People reach out to me to walk them through what is required to start their own business. I am always happy to give insights.
Do you consider yourself successful as a POS merchant?
I won't brag and say I'm incredibly successful, but I like to think I am, considering I made my capital back in less than a few months of starting the business. And since then, I have been running my business on my income which is nice.
What advice would you give to other people interested in the POS business?
It is a really good and profitable business to venture into, although there will be bad days but never let it discourage you. However, avoid going all-in with huge capital; take it slow and steady.
What lessons have you learned about your money as a POS merchant?
Employing the right people to manage your business is my major money lesson; I had an employee in the past that stole from my business under the influence of her friends on multiple occasions, which was a loss for me. However, I had to let them go when I realized that a bad employee leads to bad business and money.
Final question, what do you use Kippa for as a POS merchant?
The cashbook is my go-to feature; I use it mainly to record every transaction I complete. I use it to keep track of the number of withdrawals and deposits daily. It lets me easily figure out how much is coming in and going out of my business, and it helps me balance my accounts.