At 7 o’clock when the street inside the gated community known as Even Estate starts to wake up is when the nearby Point of Sale (PoS) shop, owned by Daniel Ishie, a mobile money agent, welcomes its first customers. They are mostly 9-5 workers attempting to beat the rush hour traffic that builds from the Jubilee Bridge at Ajah to VGC, Lagos. To do so they would need cash for a tricycle ride to the bridge where they will pay another money for a bus ride to their destination.
Ishie is the main plug for quick cash to these workers, not necessarily because he always seems to have it in bulk, but because his charges are much more stable than those of his competitors, five of which are one or two shops away.
He carries out his business using about six PoS terminals owned by operators like Moniepoint, Opay, Palmpay and banks. While he is well-trained to offer most cashless transactions like account opening, payment transfers and bill payments, his primary source of revenue comes from cash transfers.
But recently, the volume of cash he gives out to customers in a day is reducing because more of his customers are using cards or mobile devices to make transfers. Even Keke drivers are accepting
attributes this to the surging inflation that has made the cost of transport so unpredictable that some passengers are forced to demand transfers. It is a similar story for merchants. As prices of products rise, using cash to pay for products is no longer necessary. As cashless transactions grow, banking agents see demand for their business shrink. Mobile money operators are also seizing this opportunity to focus investments on attracting more merchants into the space.
“We want to include everyone from the regular Okada rider to the market woman in the financial services space. We have built our infrastructure in such a way that it is very elastic. As transactions grow, we can expand our infrastructure and this is because we have several monitoring tools that help us to monitor how transactions are growing. Also, in every nook and cranny of the nation, we have our business relationship reps. Even in localities where there is no physical bank or ATM presence, you’ll find our precious blue boxes there,” said Babatunde Olofin, acting managing director of Moniepoint Microfinance Bank.