By Sami Zaptia.
London, 9 November 2020:
During a meeting at its city headquarters yesterday, Misrata Chamber of Commerce discussed the problems facing the Point of Sale (POS) e-payment service provided by the National Commercial Bank (NCB) in the city.
The Chamber reported that the state NCB presented an overview of its new “MobMoney” and other e-payment services, in addition to discussing some of the problems facing the current POS and the Sadad mobile e-payment services.
It will be recalled that these discussions come on the back of an acute cash crisis in the country which has been exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Libyan authority have been attempting to encourage the increased use of e-payments services such as POS and mobile e-payments to mitigate the cash shortage. However, power cuts leading to poor internet service have reduced the effect of this drive.
Equally, because a large portion of business in Libya is conducted in the grey cash economy, many traders are not interested in using e-payments or even simple POS machines. They prefer cash-in-hand rather than deposits in their bank accounts which they complain they ultimately cannot withdraw because of the cash crisis.
The cash crisis is so acute that to cash a cheque involves paying a premium of 20-40 percent of the value of the cheque.