When we started the whole POS agent thing in 2014, one bank was making >90% of the transaction fees by charging 150 Naira on top of each transaction. We begged them to remove it as it would kill the business, they didn't. That was what attracted all the other sharks to us.
GTbank was the biggest of the sharks. I see Opay moving to own as much of the transaction fees as possible by getting all licenses, from PTSP to banking licenses. So, it makes sense for GTBank to do the same in reverse.
The merchant is still the key part of all this. POS with each merchant or USSD adoption by merchants will obliterate the agent business.

I wrote this below over 8 years ago -bigchief.co/the-merchant-a…
All the nonsense talk of "financial inclusion" should have started with merchant digital inclusion. They drive the change in the market. I also wrote another article on how the fee structure should work to ensure cashlessness - medium.com/bigchiefs-thou…

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More from @asemota

22 Sep
A friend who is a Chinese investor said something a couple of months ago which I dismissed at first but it is now beginning to be true. He said he doesn't think that any startup whose sole market is Nigeria will survive because there is too much uncertainty around policy.
He was also worried about valuations that don't reflect the reality of that scenario. I used to complain a lot about ”the Africa discount” on valuations and encouraged people to be ambitious but that ambition is now seeming like madness.
I still believe that significant opportunities exist within Nigeria for capital gains but it just gets harder daily. One friend remarked on how his Naira salary was effectively halved at the last devaluation and it put pressure on meeting family obligations abroad. He left.
Read 7 tweets
21 Sep
I started writing a blog post to resist the urge of doing a thread on this topic but...

...there have been conversations in twitter this morning that makes me want to to weigh in with a thread as the basis of my post titled ”There are no Africa Experts.” It is a fraudulent term.
There are also no Nigeria experts. There are people who know narrow areas of Nigeria and Africa a bit better than others but there is no real expertise if data is still a mirage. There are many knowledge gaps and jigsaw pieces strewn around. Some fit to give part of the picture.
@Jessetheranter said this below today and he is right. Media alone has shown how fragmented Africa is. If you can't find a critical mass with enough interest in specific African content to become a sustainable market, it says two things:

1. We don't have enough data

2. See 1.
Read 19 tweets
20 Sep
One thing that I have learned is to acknowledge those who have an advantage while finding my own advantage. All advantages are not equal and that is why chasing after people or competing is self defeating. Your weakness is NOT always my advantage, it can be a trap. Strength rules
The easiest place to find your advantage is to look inwards to find obstacles that you overcame when you had nothing to lose. Most people only discover places where they can excel when they remove all inhibitions. Most disadvantages are caused by ourselves. We let defeat happen.
My best man gave me this secret when doing real estate negotiations. He always gets the best deals when he is not afraid to lose the deal. Fear is why we lose. Fear of failure is why many become mediocre and never excel.
Read 5 tweets
20 Sep
The day my friend Titi Alakija told me that her great grandfather went to Kings College, London as her grandfather and father, I started to respect Yoruba people. They played this colonialism game better than us. We chose the wrong side with the Portuguese.
Those advantages of early British education were translated to the civil service and other parts of industry. I see a similar thing in Ghana with Fanti people. My wife’s great grandmother went to Cambridge and was the first headmistress in Ghana. We can't deny the headstart helps
This is only true where the colonialists tried to completely destroy local institutions and replace them. We find that those who first accepted them and decided to learn their ways became dominant at first. This is also why others who didn't the same distrust them.
Read 7 tweets
19 Sep
@EmekaOkoye has been making a steady point over the years that what we call tech in Africa is largely imported stuff and true tech from us should be about going back to first principles to create technology that works for us. The push back has been about reinventing the wheel.
The wheel works as a technological invention but there is no need for us to keep importing wheels when we can recreate or manufacture them locally. That is the entire point of the local content drive that we largely pay lip service to in Nigeria. NOTAP has been a rubber stamp.
If you look at the largest entities in Nigeria today, the technology powering them is still largely from outside Nigeria will middlemen taking a share of annual maintenance or licensing costs. I used to be one of those middlemen and made money from the support but also learned.
Read 12 tweets
18 Sep
The ”Job to be done” to enhance human enjoyment is to make function frictionless. Most of our inertia comes from the fear of friction and complexity. Once you remove the two or change our perception of them, humans are surprisingly functional.
Each day, I try to optimize for the next day. I don't want tedium or repetition. That is also an interesting thing. We like to repeat the things that bring satisfaction but not the things that do not. The funny thing is that function ultimately brings longer-term satisfaction.
How can I love exercise and still gain from its benefits? It is from constant projection. This is the beauty of motivation. Motivation comes in many ways and it is much more important than we imagine. We laugh (as Nigerians) at the trope of ”aspire to perspire” but it works.
Read 5 tweets

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