1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Retail point of sale (POS) provides an easy-to-use tool for employees and customers, helping to complete retail transactions in physical locations (stores, showrooms, etc.). As a digital development in the umbrella of electronic banking, A Point of Sale(POS) terminal provides many services including credit card processing check, recharging of DSTV and decoders, reading and transactions depending on the model. These devices can be found virtually anywhere, from grocery stores, supermarkets to gas stations as it has been adopted by most retailers to enable easy,speedy and secured financial transaction.A POS system is a suite of technology used by retailers and restaurant owners to accept payments from customers, among other tasks.Most retailer go beyond performing debit transactions but also facilitates cashback transactions. A cashback reward program is an incentive program operated by credit card companies where a percentage of the amount spent is paid back to the card holder. Thus this helps the retailers to make additional interest/percentage from every transaction they performed for their clients and customers.
Collectively, it’s the software and hardware that a retail business needs to run their business. From ordering and managing inventory to processing transactions to managing customers and staff, the point of sale is the central hub that helps retailers run and grow their businesses. POS systems have enabled anyone, from business-savvy entrepreneurs to artisans who want to turn their passion into their profession, to opening a retail store and grow.By using POS software, retail employees can find information about products, create sales orders, accept payments, and deliver receipts in an expeditious manner. Furthermore, retail managers can use this type of software to monitor retail transactions and analyze sales or inventory data such as volume, amount, or frequency. Thus a POS retailers is any individual that has a POS business. They are agents who carry out financial and banking services on behalf of the bank while earning their own commission (Anyanwu, 2020).
In Nigeria following the Covid-19-induced lockdown many Nigerians relied on point of sale (POS) machines, cash back mechanisms, Paga systems, and other mobile banking services in order to access funds, which redefined how people lived and did business (Adewuiyi 2020). This would not have been easy in the absence of business centre and retailers who run POS business even though 60% of them are bank agencies. In the first three months after COVID-19 emerged Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, a devastating number of new cases were reported across China and several countries around the world. And it was finally declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 2020 (WHO 2020). Evidence indicates that COVID-19 transmitted through respiratory droplets via contact routes such as the mouth, nose, and conjunctiva or eyes (UNICEF 2020).
However the shutting down of banks gave birth to the increase need for accounts holders to seek for alternative means of accessing and withdrawing of money as it is necessary for them to survive even during the lockdown. Thus the increase need to have access to cash gave retail business owners an opportunity to open more POS business centre especially those operating in remote areas where financial institutions are not operating due to lock down.Hence we can say that these POS retailers played significant role during the covid-19 lock down. Therefore it is on this note that this study seek to examine the role of POS retailers during covid-19 lockdown in Delta State.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The Covid-19 crisis has compelled retailers to change at a pace that has never been seen before in the industry. The covid-19 pandemic threw the world into extremely difficult and largely unknown waters, and the banking sector, like other sectors of the economy, was put on lockdown, making it difficult for account holders to access their savings during this period. The consequence of this is negative for the survival of common man. As a result, citizens needed to find a different way to access and withdraw their money. Owing to this increase need for cash, business oriented individuals capitalized on that opportunity to open more POS terminals even though greater percentage of them are direct bank agents. On the positive POS retailers made cash accessible and easy financial transaction while most of them on the negative increased service charge when they perform any financial transaction. Therefore it is against this backdrop that this study seek to examine the role of POS retailers during covid-19 lock down in Delta State.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The focus of this study examine the role of POS retailers during covid-19 lock down in Delta State. Specifically it will:
1. Examine the financial services POS machine can perform.
2. Investigate if POS business centre was efficient during covid-19 lockdown.
3. Determine the extent of availability of POS centre during covid-19 lockdown in Delta State.
4. To determine the role of POS Retailers on easy access of finance during covid-19 lockdown in Delta State.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be relevant to the general public especially on the need to appreciate the invention of POS as a advancement in electronic banking.It will sensitize financial institutions on the need to encourage interested entrepreneurs to set up POS business by making the procedures less cumbersome for those interested to venture into such business. Finally this study will be relevant for further academic research on this field, contribute to the general body of knowledge and serve as a reference material for other researcher.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The focus of this study examine the role of POS retailers during covid-19 lock down. Specifically it will examine the financial services POS machine can perform. It will Investigate if POS business centre was efficient during covid-19 lockdown. It will determine the extent of availability of POS centre during covid-19 lockdown. It will determine the role of POS Retailers on easy access of finance during covid-19 lockdown. However the scope of this study is delimited to Aniocha Local Government in Delta State Nigeria.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research question will guide this study:
1. What are the financial services POS machine can perform?
2. Do you think POS business centre was efficient during covid-19 lockdown?
3. What is the extent of availability of POS centre during covid-19 lockdown in Delta State?
4. What were the role of POS Retailers on easy access of finance during covid-19 lockdown in Delta State?
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
During the course of the study challenges encountered were exclusively but not delimited to the following numerous. These are
l Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
l Time constraint: time factor pose another constraint since having to cope in this research which went simultaneously within the time schedule of other academic work making it impossible to undertake this study in large more representative skill.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Role: A role is a set of connected behaviors, rights, obligations, beliefs, and norms as conceptualized by people in a social situation
POS: A point-of-sale (POS) terminal is a hardware system for processing card payments at retail locations. It has software to read magnetic strips of credit and debit cards. The point of sale or point of purchase is the time and place where a retail transaction is completed.
POS business: POS business is a legitimate way to make money in Nigeria. It is also called agent banking business, and it's an extension of the services offered by financial institutions to enable easy service offering to a wide range of customers.
POS Agents/Retailers: This any individual that has a POS business. They are agents who carry out financial and banking services on behalf of the bank while earning their own commission.
COVID-19: Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is defined as illness caused by a novel corona virus called severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; formerly called 2019-nCoV), which was first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.
LOCKDOWN: A lockdown is a restriction policy for people or community to stay where they are, usually due to specific risks to themselves or to others if they can move and interact freely.
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