Macharia Profile picture
16 Sep, 13 tweets, 2 min read
I led the team that designed and developed the first ever automated bank-to-mpesa system back in 2009.

The first bank to let us run it in a live environment was NIC.

I had also led the team that deployed their *488# USSD code.
As a result, I have given NIC the benefit of doubt for years, even when they screwed me over. They listed me on CRB over a $9 overdrawn account, notwithstanding that this was not legal. They said ‘Oops!’
While running Pesatalk in 2012, I developed and deployed content marketing for their rights issue, which coincided with their T24 migration, and I couldn’t bank for almost 2 weeks. My account was either missing, or transactions on it were missing.
I couldn’t report on that. (Whole story on the limitations of advertising funded media companies for another day)
When the interest rate caps came into effect, NIC changed an FD account I had with them, to cover a credit card limit, to a joint account with no contact with me.

After 5 years of paying that card off, they won’t release the locked cash. My credit history counts for nil.
I have banked with NIC for 11+ years.

I know my money ain’t long, but with my small coins, Chase Bank, even while under receivership, was a more responsive and better bank.

SBM, its successor, is still invested in my success, though at magnitudes lower than Chase was.
As for CBA, my only experience with them was Loop.

To this date, I am convinced that I lost money on Loop, and their statements were such shit that I can’t work our how much.
I just remembered that, after complaining to one of the RMs at NIC, he told me to go build my own bank to do those things I was asking for.
TBH, the only reason I haven’t killed my relationship with NIC is that I have to update a lot of clients, suppliers, partners on the changes and I have been swamped with other issues for years ( start-up life is a bitch)
But, now, I am killing off NCBA.

I don’t care if I have to pay someone to deal with the comms and updates to my stakeholders.
Just remembered something: I raised cash from investors into Abacus Wealth, and NIC held the cash for 12 days, doing “investigations”.

They contacted neither the sender, nor Abacus, in this period, and only released the cash when I raised hell.
Imperial Bank went down with our $150K, Chase receivership almost wiped out my entire backend and killed $250K in contracts.

I would still pick them over @NCBABankKenya
And here’s the kicker; the guy that got me interested in Finance as a 12-year-old was a CBA GM and later board member. I just owe my career to him.

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