The Nigerian Java and USSD nightmare

We are all singing the national Anthem of “financial Inclusion for all unbanked and underbanked” but do we know how to achieve this. How is the rural woman who is semi illiterate going to remember shortcodes… for this service dial *8787* for the other *9798* for balance *66453* what do we really want to achieve? We are all copying M-PESA, and trying to be the next success by using vague short cuts.  The other day, i needed to register for a service here in lagos for mobile money transfer, i went through a brochure and found a list of low end phones that were compatible with java according to the solution provider. I tried downloading the java version …nothing,, i went back to the person who sold me the phone and you can imagine the amt of time and insults that ensued before i could trade my phone with yet another java enabled low end nokia that i was promised was compatible,…to cut the long story short, i had to download the Java app on the laptop first then connect my nokia to the laptop to get the app. Now how is this service bringing financial inclusion to the unbanked? who we know do not even have the nokia phone but china twin sim low end phone. I have come to a conclusion that most of us working at bringing financial inclusion to the unbanked…either have an elephant sized ego or turning a blind eye to the real truths or they are too dumb to understand the real issue.

Today its rant and rave here 🙂 am just tired of people getting it wrong and not retracing the steps…am tired of seeing crappy applications, am tired of wrongly funded projects, am tired of M-PESA agents suffering and nobody listening, am tired of this whole circus…  Am just proud I was integral in development and success of M-PESA, as a newcomer…what success are you making? What will be your history?

Its time as a developer of mobile payment pay a visit to ICeni Mobile who developed M-PESA, they will give you a better understanding of what you need to do. I will keep mentioning ICeni mobile until you give me another success story….then i can stop singing ICEni *100000000. ICeni am proud you taught me right:) Thank you L-A and Andy et al