In hotels and restaurants, using debit cards is still a major friction in Nigeria. Most times, the thing does not just work. In short if not for ATM machines, debit cards have not served many customers well via POS terminals. If you check carefully, you will notice that some of the merchants have multiple POS terminals, and yet nothing works.
I do think we need to consider integrating or embedding biometric (fingerprint) data on the debit cards so that once we want to pay, we just place our finger on the designated section of the card to authorize a contactless payment. This will also remove any need for PIN or signature thereby making the whole process faster. This embedded fingerprint recognition technology will rely on the biometric data the banks have warehoused during BVN (bank verification number) enrolments. Standard Chartered Bank already uses biometric-based ATM systems. We can extend that to biometric-based debit cards.
I have some more ideas on how this can work in Nigeria. Largely, I do think we need to avoid contacts with POS terminals and possibly that can reduce the failure rates of POS-powered transactions in the nation. This to me is a weak point besides others like poor network connectivity and limited capacity which are already widely known.
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