by Michael Ebia
I normally don’t comment on issues like this but it’s critical that we don’t mislead the digital or tech community and that’s why I have to do this; its even more critical as Loy is a personal friend, and I believe we share similar passions. Its 12:20am and I write.
This is a response to a Techloy article posted on 2nd Sept 2012.
Firstly, I must say that this is one of the reasons developers and programmers are not wealthy and rich in this country. A powerful payment solution is made by our own (Nigerians) tech guys and connected to a switch platform that has never failed once and we expect them to give it totally free or at peanuts to consumers? I don’t think its totally brillant. The other entrants in the market still need them because of how reliable the system is. You don’t run tech solutions like NGOs, ask Silicon Valley folks.
Secondly, when articles like this are written I wonder if the business side of a technology firm is considered. At least one should be smart enough to. I go to CCHub sometimes and I weep at how brillant and hardworking our tech guys are, full of smart ideas but lack business sense to convert them to products that will affect the critical mass.
Please kindly go and compare the fees switching companies in Europe charge especially when the online payment boom started! There are business sides to every price: I boldly say that there are not more than 500 merchants that are subscribed actively in Nigeria. Also do not forget that a percentage also goes to the financial houses and regulatory bodies. Ask ‘Eyowo’, they would tell you it’s not been an easy ride. They wish the transactions could be more. Nigeria still haven’t gotten to a fraction of the transactions that occur overseas. The volume will sure drive the price down.
Finally, please technology is not an easy ride. Please don’t price us cheap, we do better than the government. I am passionate about Digital media and want to see programmers, developers succeed at it. We should be wealthy because we provide structures and the platforms for economy development. In truth, any serious SME should be able to pull together N50,000 or so to get his office running, the web platform is like an international office. Interswitch has done no wrong. Prices will naturally fall with increase in demand.
Stay Digital. Cheers friends.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.
Michael Ebia is the Founder of iAmSoDigital Movement, a social movement born to propagate the use of Digital Media in Africa. He’s the founder of ME’s Blog (www.iamsodigital.me,) which provides frontline thoughts on latest digital/tech news, trends, social media and web campaigns in Nigeria and Africa. Follow him on Twitter @michaelebia; Facebook www.facebook.com/iamsodigital; or mail [email protected]