Last weekend, I was at the cinema to watch the latest instalment of the Mission Impossible sequel; Fall Out. I had watched it over two months ago, but I had been busy with exams and there are some things in life you only watch on a big screen. The movie had received very good reviews and was still showing at Silverbird Cinemas, Ikeja City Mall and a few other locations.
Ikeja City Mall on a weekend is a great place to hang out with friends and family, but its popularity also leads to overcrowding, which could mean long lines of people waiting to be served. I, however, shrugged off this thought with the consolation that ‘It won’t be that bad’. Little did I know of the wahala ahead. I took an UBER ride from my house to the mall, arriving there 1.59pm, 21 minutes before the movie started. On getting to the cinema floor, I met a large crowd of agitated cinemagoers and frustrated attendants shouting back and forth. I stood there in disbelief. “Which kind line be this one now,” I said to myself. This was 2.03pm and my heart was already racing. I could not miss a second of this movie. I bravely joined the queue, checking my watch every minute. 15 minutes later I heard, Next!!!! ‘Finally,’ I said to myself. I approached the counter and the attendant stared at me and asked ‘Yes, what can i do for you?’ I marvelled at her question, smiled and pointed to the Fallout movie poster behind her. She looked at the poster and responded ‘N2, 500’. ‘Ok,’ I replied as I handed her my card to make payment.
The attendant collected my card and brought out a gigantic POS terminal, ‘Just to collect N2, 500’ I wondered. She tried the POS the first time – TRANS FAILED, she looked at me and tried a second time; TRANS FAILED. ‘Oga, your card is not working’ she said. I searched through my wallet and realized I only had N3,000 cash. Mental calculation… ‘That’s was my UBER ride back home’. Comments were already flying, ‘What is this one doing’, ‘Oga shift don’t waste our time, the movie is about to start o…’.
I looked at the hostile attendant’s face and the agitated crowd behind and reached for the N3,000 in my wallet. Just as I was about to hand them over I saw a ‘MasterPass and mVISA ACCEPTED HERE’ sign and my mind went ‘Scan to Pay’. With my confidence back, I placed my notes back in my wallet and brought out my phone. I looked at the attendant and responded with a smile ‘I will pay with Scan to Pay’. The attendant shifted the sign closer to me and I scanned the QR code.
As I scanned the QR code, I felt prying eyes from the crowd wondering what I was doing and then it happened my receipt came out of the printer. I collected my ticket from the attendant together with a coupon for a free popcorn and drink and walked away from the payment point with the swag of a big boy. As I walked away, a person on the queue stopped me and asked, ‘What was that?’ pointing at the sign. I responded smiling ‘That is the payment option to use. That’s the way to pay’.
So, if you are heading over to the cinema this weekend, just ask the attendant that you want to Scan to Pay and you will be marvelled.
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Senate Orders CBN To Suspend ATM Card Maintenance Charges, ATM’s To Dispense N40,000
The Senate has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to look into the suspension of the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) maintenance and withdrawal charges by banks.
This was after a motion on “illicit and excessive charges by Nigerian banks in customers’ accounts” was raised by Senator Gbenga Ashafa during the plenary session on Wednesday.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu seconded the motion, saying: “The ATM charge is not the only charge we get from the bank, there are VAT charges and so on; this is unacceptable. We have the Customer Protection Agency in Nigeria, but they are not living up to expectations.”
The issue generated much debate on the floor of the Senate and after much deliberations, a few resolutions were made.
The Senate directed the committees on banking insurance and other financial institutions and finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of ATM card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices and report back to the Senate.
It also mandated the committees on banking, insurance and other financial institutions and finance to invite the CBN Governor to appear before the body in order to explain why the official charges as approved by the CBN are skewed in favour of the banking institutions as against the ordinary customers of the banks.
The lawmakers urged CBN to suspend the ATM card maintenance charges being deducted from customers accounts, just as they called on the CBN to instruct the commercial banks to configure their machines to extend to N40,000 per withdrawal, pending the outcome of the investigation by the committees.
The Consumer Protection Council was called upon to be up and doing in taking up the plight of ordinary Nigerians by looking into the various complaints of excess and unnecessary charges by Nigerian banks.
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