Community Governed Loans and Mobile Money in Nigeria with Adebola Adeniran on The HackerNoon Podcastby@podcast
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Community Governed Loans and Mobile Money in Nigeria with Adebola Adeniran on The HackerNoon Podcast

by PodcastMarch 9th, 2022
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In this episode of the HackerNoon Podcast, Amy Tom sits down with Adebola Adeniran to talk about Money; specifically, mobile money in Nigeria. They go from sending money via email in Canada to how (Moni) has cracked money lending by leveraging community governance. It is an insider's take on what the financial landscape looks like in Nigeria and Africa at large. Find out what you can do with mobile money: The Key to Financial Inclusion in Emerging Markets.

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featured image - Community Governed Loans and Mobile Money in Nigeria with Adebola Adeniran on The HackerNoon Podcast
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In this episode of the HackerNoon Podcast, Amy Tom sits down with Adebola Adeniran to talk about Money; specifically, mobile money in Nigeria. They go from sending money via email in Canada to how (Moni) has cracked money lending by leveraging community governance. Which then got Moni into Y Combinator. It is an insider's take on what the financial landscape looks like in Nigeria and Africa at large. 💵

Adebola is the Software Editor at HackerNoon and the Growth lead at (Moni).

On this episode of the HackerNoon Podcast, Amy and Adebola chat about:

  • With about 60% of Nigerians being unbanked, Adebola breaks down how Nigerians move money on a day-to-day basis. (01:16) 💸
  • People in Canada send money via email (lol, could never be me 😂). So, naturally, Amy is curious about what interacting with the financial infrastructure in Nigeria looks like. (03:27) 🏗️
  • In Nigeria, mobile money agents are the primary movers of money. But, who exactly qualifies to be a mobile money agent? (09:17) 🤑
  • How long has mobile money been in Nigeria and Africa at large? (11:51) 🌍
  • What are the barriers to entry into the mobile money agent system? (13:01) 🚧
  • What does the competition look like in the mobile money ecosystem? (14:46) 🤺
  • How did Adebola get to being the People and Growth Lead at Moni? (16:11) 👨🏾‍💼
  • How exactly does fit into the mobile money picture? (17:55) 💷
  • What gets Adebola excited about mobile money? (26:47) 😆

Read Adebola’s take on mobile money:

Find Adebola online:

Learn more about HackerNoon:

Podcast Transcript (Machine Generated, Excuse the errors)

[00:00:00] Amy Tom: What's up hackers. Welcome back to another episode of the HackerNoon Podcast. Of course, I am your host, Amy, Tom. Your best friend and your hacker noon editor. But with me today is another hacker noon editor Adebola Adeniran, he is the software editor at HackerNoon. So I am very excited to chat with him today, but we aren't going to be chatting about a HackerNoon.

We're actually going to be chatting about mobile money because aside from working at HackerNoon Adebola is also the growth lead at Moni. So welcome to the podcast Adebola. Thanks for coming on.

[00:00:37] Adebola Adeniran: Thank you, Amy. Thank you for having me on the podcast. It's nice to be here and it's nice to like do this for the very first time, because like I watched your other ones on YouTube and it's nice to like finally beyond I feel a little bit famous.

[00:00:46] Amy Tom: You watched my podcasts on YouTube. Are you? Oh my God. That's funny. Cause I'm your number one fan. I am stoked. This is the first time amongst the first times that I am interviewing one of my fellow, people who work at hacker noon. So it's very exciting. but today what we're going to be talking about, what I'm going to learn a little bit more about from you is mobile money.

So can you tell me more about what mobile money is?

[00:01:20] Adebola Adeniran: I would just sort of like start, start off with the problem. and then I'll talk about like, I'll move on when he's solving that, expecting that, like, given that background, I'm giving that context sort of help people understand more. Um, one more one when he exactly.

in many parts of, um, so like sort of like in the outskirts of major cities in Africa and here in Nigeria as well, what you would find is that traditional banking institutions are not as close to people's locations as say somewhere in the U S for example, where you probably have like an 80.

so back to the you, and you can easily withdraw cash and, and, you know, do your transactions. but in, in Nigeria and in like some parts of Africa as well, you don't have, um, the proximity of banks to people. And there's also like a lot of passion circulation as well. and so what mobile money I've done is I sort of help people, because you can't, you can't really access the banks or you don't have like, as many ATM's around.

mobile money. I'd sort of been a way for people to be able to move money around. so for example, as long as you have a mobile phone and you are connected to a network operator or telecom operator, you can easily like move money around. So you can go to an agents close to you, you can deposit cash, and then they top up mobile number, without value, and then you can use that to like pay bills. You can send that to your family and your friends, and you can even like go sign out application and get cash in return for that, for that amount. Right. so that's sort of, I would see as the integration of Africa in Nigeria to Elizabeth, In the sense that, people can take cash through mobile money agents, and then you can see, like, I'm trying to send some money to Amy.

but maybe at another bank account. Right. Because a lot of people still don't have a bank account. I think the number is around, 60% now, of people where banks around like 40% of people see our in Jane. and so instead of having to deal with a traditional bank, they can easily just go to a mobile money agent because they are all around they're everywhere now.

So you can easily go to a mobile money agent and say like, I'm trying to send them some money to my friend. maybe somewhere in the city. but I don't have a bank account. You can give them cash and then they will facilitate that transfer for you.

And then your friend in the city can go pick it up anywhere. Right and get, yeah. So essentially that's what mobile money is solving. The fact that some people, like a lot of people don't have access to traditional banking facilities, but move on money as fast as we see them movements around.

[00:03:27] Amy Tom: Right.

Okay. So I have some questions about, I guess like the infrastructure of moving money and banking in Nigeria and in Africa, because I think it's probably just very different from what I'm used to in north America, especially in Canada. So when I want to send someone money in Canada and I have learned recently that this is unique to Canada, or I learned this within the past, like year.

But apparently, um, nobody else does this, but when you want to send money to someone, I would email you money via my bank. So I go into my online banking system and then I email you the money. Um, and you accept that via email. So tell me more about the infrastructure and the way that this is set up, that prevents people in Africa, in Nigeria, from using on-line bank.

[00:04:21] Adebola Adeniran: Okay. So I would say, um, so in Nigeria, for example, and I think also in South Africa as well, and in some parts of Africa too, where the banking system is more developed, I can make it transparent to anybody in 1989 Jetta as a bank accounts within two seconds. So I can literally pick up my mobile phone log into my internet banking application.

and I can make a trunk transfer, I guess you would call it it's wire. I can make a bank transfer to another bank within Nigeria, and that, that will try to take two seconds and they will receive that money on their own end. Um, and then you can just like, you know, do whatever you want to do.

It's it's so in that sense, the Nigerian banking infrastructure is actually quite advanced and by developed, for example, in Canada, how long will you take your friend to get the money? Right? Send it through email and emailing them. Like

[00:05:02] Amy Tom: a maximum half an hour.

[00:05:04] Adebola Adeniran: Right. So yeah, in Nigeria, like within two seconds, maybe at most like one, two minutes, if general issues with the transaction, it's, they're usually credit in their bank accounts.

but in the sense in, for example, so we have all of that infrastructure built out already. Yeah. In Nigeria. that's regulated by the central bank and authored the Thursday Nigeria code to CBN. And that's regulated by them through a platform called needs. So like nibs is sort of like be like a tech platform that settles all of those transactions.

So DBS is a platform that moves money around within different banks in Nigeria. The only differences that for people we don't have like regular bank accounts, they can easily go to an agent.

Usually the agents have bank accounts, Those bank accounts are tied to the company that decides in microfinance bank, or they are even, you should buy like regular traditional. But people who don't have access to bank accounts or people who, maybe they don't have like internet banking or they don't have like USSD banking on their phones.

can easily just approach them mobile money agents and say, Hey, like I need to move. I need to pay a bill. I need to pay like my, my utility bills and my lights view my gas bill. but I don't, like I only have cash. I don't have that money in my bank account. Right. So they can easily take that money to the agents.

yes, 2000 hour, for example, um, and give it like 2000 arable, so a mobile popup right. Or electricity, and then you move on money. Agent can just like bend that on their own machine and print out like a receipt or asleep, um, that gives them that. So you can, you don't, you can use that use mobile money agents for if you have a traditional bank accounts, but you don't have money in that accounts.

You can use cash to facilitate those transactions because lots of transactions in Nigeria, you don't, um, day-to-day so you don't be a cash. so people who have like small mom and pop shops, lots of those transactions are done via cash and not via like cards or, like what are payment payment methods.

Right. So. That's sort of like the use case for people who don't have the traditional bank accounts, sorry, for people who are the traditional bank accounts. Now, for people who do not have a traditional bank accounts, they can make transfers and they can also pay for. And it can also do like what our transactions as well, without needing have bank accounts, right.

like, I need to transfer money to my friend would probably live like, uh, in a city that it's taking me like two days to get right and do the cash and then they can wear them when it's. And the person can just go pick it up as a mobile money agenda and them.

[00:07:22] Amy Tom: Ah, okay. I see. So this essentially is allowing everybody in Africa or people in Nigeria to have access to the ability to send people money, fluidly and.


[00:07:38] Adebola Adeniran: Exactly. And you can pay bills as well and perform like a bunch of other like, uh, financial transactions that you probably only be able to perform if you had a regular bank account or if you had access to a debit card.

[00:07:48] Amy Tom: Right. Okay. So tell me more about the relationship with money in Africa and Nigeria and why only 60% of people have a traditional bank account.

[00:07:59] Adebola Adeniran: so I would say the reason for that is also intense. What it costs the banks to build out that infrastructure? Um, like in the us, for example, this had probably been going on for the last, maybe like on 150 years, like you'd know the banking system. but in Nigeria is too, I would not say it's in the early stages.

I think it's quite, like I said earlier, it's quite advanced. and I, but at the same time, it's cost a lot to sort of build infrastructure in. Um, cities that I would not see a major city secrecy, and also as well, banks are also trying to cut back on costs. And so they are promoting more, they're asking more people to use their internet banking platforms, um, rather than them booking more branches, right.

They want more people to use their mobile phones to move money around and to complete transactions as well. and wait for them to also be able to gain more customers without, without not like, you know, spending far more money on infrastructure is by using mobile money agents, um, around, because that's like that's way cheaper.

So someone that already has like a mom-and-pop shop that are selling groceries. For example, you can also have a mobile money terminal, um, right there in the shop. Yeah. So if you walk into the shop, you can say, Hey, like I need to pay. and you can give them cash and then they will pay the bill for you and generate, like it's looking for you to, to use, to pay like your gas bill, your electricity or anything like

[00:09:16] Amy Tom: that.

Right. Okay. So the benefit of the, less infrastructure here is that because the banks don't have enough capital to set up all of the different, banks, like official banks within these smaller cities. Smaller shops are able to be a mobile money agents. Okay. So what kind of shops can be mobile money agents?

[00:09:37] Adebola Adeniran: so yeah, all kinds of like small shops. So you might, you might be selling, say you're selling, like rice, for example, what makes, so yes, I didn't like rice and it's a small sort of like corner shops. Right. It's a small corner shop that located within the community. so like everyone in that could be to kind of just like go to the corner shop.

they might buy like a few things from the corner shop and it may say like, I also need to pay for my, for example, satellite CVB. and. Pay that money to the mobile money agents in cash. And then the mobile money agent generates a good for them that they can use to, top up their TV view.

Right. And then you can have access to TV for like the next month or so. so it's just, so that's kind of shop that you'd find, right? So you have some people who are like regular mom and pop store. they sell groceries They may even just like sell like cooked food. So, and that's why it's also called mobile money because it's really like the, the agents can really be.

Right. It wouldn't really need to set up any infrastructure. Get your mobile phone is usually enough for them to set up shop, as a mobile money agent, because essentially what happens is that you have like a Bluetooth device that's attached to your mobile phone that you can use in printing receipts.

Right? So you have your mobile phone and you can use that to do like a bunch of transactions, usually an Android device. And then you have a Bluetooth device connected to that Android phone for you to print out receipts.

[00:10:55] Amy Tom: Is there anything that is considered a barrier to entry for people to get a traditional bank account other than the ability to walk into a physical bank to set up an account?

[00:11:06] Adebola Adeniran: I think that sometimes people also feel that. Um, also like traditionally as well. Like a lot of people may not necessarily trust the bank that I look right. Why should I put my money in the bank? And sometimes, besides the fact that the bank is far away from them as well, um, images make more sense because they need that money for like daily transactions and like daily things that they're doing, um, because it also demand making revenue daily.

Right. it may not make sense for them to store their money in your bank. when do you need this? Like cashflow every single day. and I'm not a barrier to entry will sort of be around, education as well. So some people, would be not necessarily see the need for a bank because they might not have, they may not have enough education to understand that like banks and banks play a role in society.

[00:11:51] Amy Tom: Right. Okay. And mobile money in Africa, in Nigeria. Is this something that is a new concept that has come up in the past couple of years? Or has this been around for like over five, 10 years?

[00:12:04] Adebola Adeniran: Yeah. I mean, mobile money has been around. Um, so I think safari competitor. Um, I don't remember. And I think whether they're on 2014 and it's a very common lunch.

Yeah. I I've, that'd be to massacre, but I don't remember it off the top of my head right now. but the Farrakhan launch in Kenya essentially underweight like Safaria com works is that you have a mobile device. Once you buy, it's incurred to put your mobile device you're you already have a mobile money accounts with that.

Right. And so once you put us in . Um, you essentially, you have like your mobile money wallets, and you can go to any vendor around you deposit cash, and I'm going to kind of put you on mobile money and you can use that to pay dues, to transfer to other people and things like that. So it's been around for like nearly 10 years now.

Yeah. In Africa and really pioneered by it's a very calm. it's like taken off like wildfire because, it's sort of made like many people's needs and that's also also helped like develop very rapidly financial systems. Um, you know,

[00:13:01] Amy Tom: and tell me more about the kinds of, I guess like the agents, who can be mobile money agents, what do they need other than like a phone, to be able to become mobile money agents?

Do they need like a special certificate or is there other, barriers to entry in order to become an agent?

[00:13:24] Adebola Adeniran: Yeah. Um, so in different countries, that different sort of regulations, um, that is required to become a mobile money agents. Um, for example, I know that in banner Republic you might take, like, I think around like a month to be able to get approval, to become one when agent, um, yeah.

Nigeria, it's not, it doesn't take that long. I think it takes about like a week and like all your documents are processed. Uh, are you able to get like a POS terminal to use for your mobile money business? Um, so do regulations and again, the reason why, like that's possibly not. Because we already have like an identity system as well, that that works.

Right. And so like, everybody decides already captured in that system. And it's easy to just like, once you verify that data, Excuse me able to provide like a service to the person, because you already know that this is a legit person where it's verified is your sort of a unique code that links you into the financial system.

and so once that is able to be captured and verified, you can say like, yeah, come pick up a device. I'm such a mobile money business. Right? So in different parts of Africa, different regulations, and the more advanced assistant. the shorter time it takes for you to, be able to study business as a mobile money agent.


[00:14:34] Amy Tom: and what is the mobile money industry like in terms of the different providers of, I guess like the POS systems and like becoming an agent, is there a lot of competition in that?

[00:14:46] Adebola Adeniran: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I don't know if you're familiar with MTN, MTN is a south African company, their telecom provider.

So they'll probably be like it's TNC in the U S for example, right? Um, yeah, one of the largest, telecom service providers in Africa. And they've also capitalize on that to also build their own mobile money infrastructure, and also to distribute that across. So they're huge. And for them, mobile money is, is, is massive business.

and so what for MTN, I wouldn't say I, because of the amount of, sort of power that they have, because you have a lot of people in that network, in, in most parts of Africa, don't really have it as a competition. but then in other parts of Africa where, what telecom providers are in larger market share, those will be their competitors.

Yeah in Nigeria. we have like the major players in the mobile money business. They're like two or three or four businesses that everybody knows, at the immediate here in the markets, but at the same time, Delta, like, like maybe 109 50, what I play as well in the same markets. Also, sort of pushing the mobile money, mobile money business as well.

and so There's quite a lot of competition actually. Within this space, everyone is trying to be more innovative. Everyone is trying to ensure that their systems are in failing as much. So for example, if you go in to do a transaction, you want nine out of 10 times that you go to mobile on agent near you, you want transactions to be successful, right.

And you don't want to like, be like, like the network is down or the bank has some issues, things like that. Right. so there's a lot of competition and there's a lot of innovation within. Okay.

[00:16:10] Amy Tom: And okay. Now I want to know where Moni fits into this picture, but I think first, I want to ask you where your journey started with Moni.

[00:16:20] Adebola Adeniran: So I worked as a software engineer, so I worked on to engineer for the last three years now. that, like, that was fun. That was a good spell for me. But at the same time, like I always wanted to do something. and then I met, so my friend, my friend is the co-founder of money.

and at when mentioned Dubai, I think it was around like 2019. I feel like we messaged each other, like, well, on a symmetry group trip together, we had a chat. I was like, well, I'm in tech, I'm an engineer. And it's like, but like, I'm also trying to build out a couple of companies as well. And we, we, we stuck together.

We became friends. We always had, we always true ideas back and forth, sort of like what we're trying to build, what we're thinking of building. and what would make sense for the ecosystem? and fast forward to 2020 seats towards the end of 2020, like know, like I'm building this thing, what's raining out.

We're going to see if it's going to pick up if it's going to work. And they decided to float a product called at the time was called cash stopper. Right. And before it was renamed some money. And then at the end of 2020, I felt like, I think three or four months, they were like, so what I eat. Like I think we have an idea here.

And I think that this is really going to be before. and then I got involved in sort of managing the technology side of things, and helping to drive like the technology as well. Since I was already a software engineer, I was helping to like guide and direct, you know, the product that was being built at the time.

and fast forward to, August of last year. at the same time I was living my engineering job, money started to with the new round. Right. And so you just made sense for me to do this? Full-time because I believed in the idea, I believe in the vision, I felt like it was something bigger than me and we could have a huge impact on the lives of people.

and I decided that I was going to go into this full-time and also viewed the company. And yeah, that's sort of like when my journey started from

[00:17:55] Amy Tom: okay, so like late 20, 20 you're saying is when you kind of draw. Okay. Cool. And so tell me more about what Moni does and how it fits in money, money, and how it fits into the mobile and money market.

All of the M alliterations.

[00:18:16] Adebola Adeniran: Yeah. So, um, so one of the major issues that we realized that mobile money agents faced was the issue of, working capital right or credit. so what happens is that you probably start the business with CRM. I would say around $200. but when, when customers come to you to complete transactions, let's say between nine and 11:00 AM in the morning, you've exhausted all the cash on you.

So you have $200 of cash, and you you've, you've used all of that. You just know your transactions that you've done during the day. And you have that value in your mobile money, whether it, for example, right. What you do, if you get, if it goes to the bank and articulate like 30 minutes or an hour to get to the bank and come back between that time that you have to leave your shop to go to the bank and get back, you're going to lose a lot of transactions because more money than any commission on each transaction that they complete.

And so it's all about the volume for them to need to like serve more customers to in more conditions. And so, because it takes them a long time to get to the bank and get back. It's easier for them to have like a long line of credit that it can always access And complete and sense all the transactions.

I didn't need to service any date. Right. And then they make their commissions and then they give us, so they pay, like it's more interest on the credit that we give them. and so almost like we're sharing the commissions with them in a way, Because we're allowing them to complete more transactions and to make more money.

And so what we. At money is that we provide that line of credits. so instead of you having to like short-sell back and forth between the bank multiple times in a day, we'll provide you like a long line of credits that you can use one of your transactions for the day and make all your conditions so that you don't drop any transactions.

You don't drop any, any sales. And then you can just like, give us a tiny bit of that, of that amount of that commission that you're making as interest for. We giving you the line of credits. So that's essentially where we.

[00:19:58] Amy Tom: Okay. wait, I need you to clarify some more things for me. So somebody comes into the shop and the shop owner, or K the shop owner sells all of their stuff.

They have no more money left for the day and they're like, oh, I need to, I need another like hundred dollars in order to finish the day. Right then money comes in and says like, okay, we have alone, that you can have. For those a hundred dollars. So you don't need to go to the bank, and waste your time in between doing that because there's not that infrastructure in place where there's a bank around the corner, they need to go and travel to the bank.

And so to save them that time money provides them the loan, but how do they get the money?

[00:20:41] Adebola Adeniran: so how does the mobile money agent themselves get the money? Right? We ask him, okay, so that there's something called caching and cash out. Right. And what that essentially means is, when we, when we disburse the funds to them, to the mobile money agents, we just bought it into their bank accounts, Or into their mobile money wallet. And you weren't able to do that as this. So you may have, for example, as a model managers, you might have like $200 cash from. but you don't have any money in your mobile money wallet to compete like electronic transactions. So it's not every customer that comes to you is going to come to get cash from you.

They may want to pay it to you, or they may want to do a transfer to somebody else somewhere else. Right. So let's say you have $200 in your wallet. Right. And let's say any constantly. Right. And I have $200 in my, what I spend and say a Emmy, like you want to send a hundred dollars to David, for example, right on.

And he's like, yeah. Frank sent under the last David. so I do the a hundred dollars from my. That was credited by money. I send it to David. Right. But I still have my $200 cash with me. Right. So when other people come, I can and, do, wants to make it, you draw from Gatlin accounts. I can give them the cash.

And, and then I can debit that for my own end. So now what happens is that if I run out of cash, it means that I have to get trips. Right to get more cash or like find an ETF, get more cash for me to disperse again or for, for money. So instead of, you know, that every time we move our money, he didn't make the transaction.

The money isn't actually missing the money is still in the system. Right. So if you come and give me, um, you see a need, like this is $200 and I want you to send it to David, right? So I'm going to call it a hundred dollars cash and then send the electronic value to the. Yeah, right. Well, what other people might comment say?

He actually wants to withdraw $200 cash, right? For my, for my cat. Some people have the card, right. And they put the cat in my machine. I'm Debbie said $200 in my wallet. And then I give them the cash on me. Now I'm out of cash with the right amount of cash. He asked me that trips to the bank, but where money comes in is that we give you, like, let's say we give you like a thousand dollars for the D right?

So that way you can go to the bank in the morning, get a thousand dollars cash concierge. And complete like, like five transactions that day without having to go to the bank. I see. See what you mean? And then you make a commission from each of those transactions that you do, and then you, you pay back the, um, the $1,000, like a little interest in.

[00:22:59] Amy Tom: Oh, okay. So money is providing the mobile money agents with the loan ahead of time for their day, would they decide whatever they want a thousand dollars a day or whatever they want. Um, so they don't have to make those multiple trips to the bank and they have that cash. Alrighty on hand, just in case somebody wants to withdraw money from their mobile money account.

Okay. I get it. I understand. Great. Cool, cool. Cool. Um, and so tell me, so it's been now it's early 20, 22. So it's been just over a year. So tell me about how that's been going for you.

[00:23:39] Adebola Adeniran: Yeah, I mean, it's, it's, it's been quite a journey. I think the answer thing works like super hard day, because. You sound.

So it looks very fancy from the outside, right? Like, Ooh, that's a nice startup. And I would like to work with them, but you don't realize like how much work goes in and how much brain goes into making the entire thing work. And like, you're not going to do structures from ground. Right. And I remember like the first time that we paid staff yet money and it was like such a big deal for everyone.

Cause it was like, yeah, like we didn't think that we're going to get this plaque. And then we got this far on pay people's salaries for the very first time. I thought that was such a huge D for the entire team. and since then we've done over $5 million in disbursements, across like, like three countries in Africa was expanded to other countries as well.

So we're not only in Nigeria, we're also in venture Republic. I'm also in Korea as well, where it was decided operations owning the space of like a, or like B and it needs to be. and then besides that, we also got into the YC program. So YC is the largest startup accelerator in the world. I think acceptance rates.

23% or something if I'm not mistaken, but it's like super loose, like close to like what the access points without our bodies. and we're able to get into that and get some funding as well. and it's like, it's been an exciting journey, for me and for the rest of the team, Australia, like for the, for the co-founders as well.

And like, everything would be you wake up and you know that you're going to have to put out some fires and you know, that you're going to have to come up with ideas and like, you know, figure out things on the planet. but I think that's something that's like our biggest strengths and something that, you know, we were really proud of proud of is our, our repayment rates.

Right. and I think the major issue with lending and even with credit card companies as well is the same thing. Or like even by now payloads are companies where, you know, people take your facility from you, but they do not repeat that facility. and then you need to like chart people. Like I interested in to cover for people would not repeat their facilities.

but I think that what we do is it is a bit different. we run like a community model, which is based on your social reputation. So you can just access credit on money if you don't belong to a community. Right. So you also do to. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. But the entire app works on a community model.

when people find from me community, they come on the app and Davis all access credits. And what is, uh, what is like what binds them all together is that they're all mobile money agents. Right. And it sort of all knew each other. Do you all have a relationship with each other? And so when one person is, like, like, I'm not going to repeat this money.

The other people in the community kind of say, Hey, you need to repay this money back because it's going to affect our businesses as well. And so by doing that, we've been able to maintain like a 99% repayment rates. 99% of the people nearly a hundred percent. Like sometimes they, they pay like a little bit late, but generally like every single person that takes a loan from us, um, we paid the ambulance that was something that we cracked at the end to be.

and I think that that's sort of like what I got to know since YC and what has given us like it also, the attention that we're getting now, which is that Jumoke with the system that ensure. The monies that we lend out. I collected back on I, because I back because people realize that, like, it's not just, doesn't just affect my, my actions.

Don't just affects me. It affects my community as well. And so our communities are self-insuring they're self-governing and everyone is responsible for.

[00:26:45] Amy Tom: Cool. What is it about money and the mobile money industry that gets you so jazzed? Because I think it's all very obvious. You can tell that you care so much about it, and you're very proud to be on this team.

So what is it about it that makes you happy, that it gets you excited that you were willing to put in enough effort to say like, yeah, I don't need to be paid yet. I'm good. Let's just keep going and living the dream. So what is it.

[00:27:13] Adebola Adeniran: I think, I think, um, and I say this all the time. So in the very early days, like I did all of the support work.

and it was, and it's crazy because at the time, like, I didn't think I was going to be doing support work, but then it just sort of happened where like things broke and, I was like, Ooh, what's like, what am I going to do now? Right. And then I picked it up and I said like, you know, do you know, like all of the supports work and all of that.

So my job, essentially, I was supposed to be like customer education, customer engagement, like sales or other kinds of things. But I guess we didn't, it was funny. Cause we didn't, I didn't think we thought about it initially that like nets, it supports him. Right. but like I got into that and I started to like all the support work.

And so because of that, like a lot of customers from the, from our LEDs, they have my phone number. Right. And so they would call me over. And they will say like, you know that without you guys I'll be out with business, cause I don't have any capital to continue running this business. and without the loan that we give, they will not also be able to make more commissions, from, you know, doing more transactions.

Right. Um, and I think that getting those calls every day, or nearly every day was something that really like inspires you. Something that really inspires me. Right. So say like, Hey, like, you know, actually having such a huge impact on people's lives. and people are able to make more transactions able to increase our revenue by around like 40, 50, 60%, and able to like put that money towards more things for their families.

Right. so for us, like that is that alone is testimony, that like, whatever we're doing is working. And it's nice to, like, I think if you expect, I went through the co-founders to visits, the very first, mobile money agents that will give credit to, right. So everybody pilots by the pilots community.

and I think we're going to put that video up at some points and she was super excited to see us. And she was like still thankful and so grateful for like, you know, for what we've done for our community, for our business. because we're able to offer them more credit than in regular bank would offer them.

Right. So traditional bank would say, Hey, you guys, you don't qualify for credits because first of all, you don't have the collateral. And secondly, you're probably not doing enough volume on your platform for them to give you that amount of credits. Right. And that's where we come in, because we won't ask you for collateral.

We'll give you a loan. We'll give you credit up front by just by ensuring that like, you know, you're in the community and your community trusts you. Right? And so we take that risk ahead. and we offer them that working capital or that credit. And so like to see that impact on their businesses to see that impact on their lives, to see them being able to move from like a really tiny shop, on their streets to like, like in more like a bigger shop that inspires me.

And that's sort of like what keeps the rest of the team going.

[00:29:40] Amy Tom: Oh, that's so nice. I love that so much. Literally warmed my heart so hard. Oh my gosh. Okay. Everybody needs to, this is your sign. You need to go out and tell your favorite small business, how much they mean to you and how much like when she came into your life.

Um, just let's keep everybody going, build them all out. That's so nice. I love that so much. Okay, cool. So outta bullet, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. I really appreciate it. I love to chat with a fellow hacker news editor. Y'all are my favorite. So where can we find you and what you're working on?

[00:30:20] Adebola Adeniran: so I think that I really liked my of name because I'm the only ID, but I would find me and find my articles and I can also find links to my school. Um, I I'm, I'm really like happy that I was when I was able to get the handle, because list what I did while I was in the world. But it's nice. I was able to get the, yes, it goes to my acronym profile or about, the you would find me, and you find like links to my socials and links, like my icon profile as well, to read words for them writing.

right now, I'm sort of taking a BW break from engineering. or do like I'm still involved in discussing products, discussing the business side of things, discussing the engineering things as well. I'm thinking that I really enjoyed it because even though I'm not, I could sometimes, um, but I'm not quitting like every single day as I used to.

but it's nice to be able to sort of like see the business from the very top and like, you know, have like imputes for everyone. Yeah, I think that that's fun. So right now I publish articles about mobile money and never could I just say what's going to come? I usually wrote, like, I usually wrote like software engineering, technical articles, but like now I'm writing things about mobile money, and sort of the, the agency banking space and the FinTech space in Nigeria.

And I'm definitely excited about it. I'm excited about the future and about building.

[00:31:35] Amy Tom: Cool sick. All right. I'll put those links in the show notes for everybody to go check out anabolic and his mobile money stories on hacker noon. Thanks so much for listening to the podcast. Don't forget to tell your favorite small business that you love them.

And to give a me a little love by giving a five-star rating to the hacker noon podcast, you can reach us at hacker noon on all the social. LinkedIn Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, check out our YouTube channel and head over to hacker to read some of our stories and as always stay weird. And I'll see you on the internet by.