As a Point-of-Sell (POS) attendant, it is necessary that we discuss the risks involve in receiving transfers directly from customers instead of using POS.
What is the meaning of Transfer in POS Business?
1-Transfer from, and
Transfer from: This mean transfer from customer who need cash but do not come with their ATM card.
A customer approach you to transfer to your account, in order to collect cash from you, as an alternative to POS withdrawal. Please, this should be avoided! It’s very very risky. Whether you are new or existing agent, avoid it! It can easily send you out of business or create serious trouble for you.
Transfer to: This is also referred to as fund transfer. In this case, customers come with cash and ask you to transfer the value to their own account or another beneficiary’s account.
This is what banks called Deposit, and it’s 100% acceptable. In fact, you need to encourage this type of transaction because it provides cash for you to be used for withdrawal purpose for other customers, instead of running to and fro bank.
Back to the risks involving acceptance of transfers from customers are not far-fetched. From experience, expect to face issues like:
- Fraudulent transfers: This means transfer of funds by known or unknown customer from another person’s account (the victim) unknown to you. This may lead to your own account being frozen by bank for fraud. So, even if you are not a fraudster, the bank sees you as one. So your name and account is placed under monitoring. If large sum was involved, you may be apprehended the day you visit the bank to unfreeze your account except you can explain yourself better, and produce the criminal. I pity you ooo.
- Fake SMS alerts: As simple as this looks, it’s been used to defraud many unsuspecting agents, and send many out of this business. Fake credit alert enters your phone as though it is from your bank. Only for you to get to the bank or check your account balance and discover you have been defrauded. There’s credit alert, but no money in your account. To some agents who trust SMS alert so much, it will shock you to know that there’s an app called flash fund app used to perpetrate this fraudulent act.
- Transfer reversal: Whenever a customer bank has network issue, it’s very possible that the customer transfer money to you, he gets debited and you confirm the debit alert from his own end but you have not yet received the corresponding credit alert or been credited. Sometimes, such hanging transfers may be reversed to the senders account. Meanwhile the agent under pressure from the customer may have paid the customer, yet the money was reversed to the customer who may never come back to you. What a loss!
- Proliferation of your account Details: Your account becomes too open and porous, different names appear on your statement of account many of which you can’t explain. They neither bought goods from you, nor paid for services rendered. Note that, if the CBN want you to be accepting transfers, they will not mandate the Bank or MMOs to provide you with a pos terminal in the first place. So, it’s even unethical for you as a mobile money agent or bank agent.
- Money Laundering: Now that every Jick and Harry already have your account details because of frequent transfers, they will start to send in money to your accounts from both genuine source or otherwise, including proceeds of crime so that if anything happens, the fund will not be traced to them but to you because it’s your name that will appear in the defrauded victim’s statement of account. You have paid them, they are clean, their details is not seen but yours. You are the fraudster! What a pity! May you not see trouble ooo.
- Prohibited by CBN: The CBN guideline on agency banking and mobile money operators prohibits an agent from certain transactions. One of such is accepting transfers. Please understand that you are not a food seller, or market woman who can accept transfer for payment of goods sold. If anything happens, the food seller or market woman is more protected by law than you.
You don’t sell anything, as an agent you have no reason to accept transfers, that’s why you have pos machine. Use it always!
Agency banking is interesting, it’s simple, it’s profitable only if you will play by the rules of the game. Then you will have peace and make your money with confidence and rest of mind.
One may ask, what then shall we do?
Should we accept transfer only from known customers?
Should we accept transfer of litte amounts only?
Should we accept transfer only when POS withdrawal network is down?
My penny wise advice is that you avoid accepting transfers for cash from both familiar, regular, known and unkown customers. It helps solve more than 90% of the most serious challenges in this business.
Finally, if you know all these things, “happy will you be if yea do them” .
Always play by the rules!