Disclaimer: I wrote this based on my personal experience and information at my disposal at the time of writing. I have not done this to ridicule or advertise any platform.
I woke up in the early hours of Saturday with a call from my cousin asking me to help her buy a selfie stick on Konga. Trust me, it wasn't my cousin's call that woke me but the persistency of the call. After we spoke, I realised she had actually called 15 times...My question is, why a selfie stick? Anyway, as the only advanced techy person in the family (Lol...if you have been in my shoes you know how it feels), I had to open up my laptop and help her. I might be saving a life! While trying to put myself together, I got another call from someone I once integrated a payment gateway plugin for. He said, "People can't pay on my website, your plugin is broken". This was the beginning of my confusion. This time around, I had to to act quickly, if I wanted to save my reputation.
The time between plugging my modem to my laptop and connecting to the internet seemed the longest I have experienced as my phone was almost blowing up. The first thing I did was to go on the client's website and confirm his issue. Alas, my payment was not successful. Now, I needed to prove to this guy that the fault was not from me. So, I went on Konga to get my Cousin her Selfie stick. I added my item to cart, then continued to checkout; I chose ATM/Debit card. I went through the whole business of typing in my card details... then it all came back as "failed transaction." Mind you, I never got to the One Time Pin page...I quickly did a screenshot and sent it to "Mr. You Broke my Site" so he could know that he was not alone. Even the big eCommerce boys are in the same dilemma!
Now, where do I go from here? I have worked with almost all major payment platforms in Nigeria. I have written integrations for them, and connected them to different systems used by several startups. I have reviewed these payment systems and lots of my followers have asked me many questions in different forms. Here is the reality, almost all platforms that collect money through card online would somehow eventually lead to two major players. They all provide their layout to collect information and then redirect to these 2 major gateways. So, the whole online business in Nigeria is stuck when these two major players are down. This is really mind boggling for me because WE ARE LOSING MONEY.
I thought on all these for a while then KongaPay came to my mind. Hmmmn! I quickly rushed back to my laptop and sluggishly typed the Konga URL; I wouldn't want anymore disappointment so I decided to buy a little airtime and chose to use KongaPay. Since there's no need to input any card details, I waited for my OTP as SMS. Before saying "IBADAN", I got my airtime. I cleaned my face...This must be a dream! Now, I have to go and shower because taking a bath has a way of clearing "hangover".
After this awful/awesome experience, I decided to solidfy my argument about the platform I have been carefully watching for some months now. Here are reasons why KongaPay rocks and will disrupt online payment industry in Nigeria:
It is evolving
I remembered seeing KongaPay evolve from a few banks, now they support all major banks. If your bank is not present for registering an account number, your card is covered. Also, Konga is the first company I know of presently that verifies BVN details. This is the first time I see the practical usefulness of BVN. "Oya, come ask me for my BVN number". I have always seen Konga as just a company that sells but now, I say Konga is my number one Technology Company in Nigeria. I think I need to put up a review on Technology Companies in Nigeria.
Be the smartest in the room
New stuff happens on KongaPay almost every hour. I have always put myself on a cronjob to see how they evolve and I won't lie to you, you can't keep up with the rate they add new features to that payment platform.
It is simple
I have a serious challenge on everything I am paying on websites that I have to put my card details every time. I don't always have my card with me. So I'd have to ask my wife to send me the card details. I did a snapshot and saved it on my phone. Anytime I want to pay for stuffs, I will have to scroll through over a thousand images and all. It is annoying. Then I started waiting for the OTP. After inputting the OTP, you have to start fasting and praying that your payment should successfully pull through. If not, you will feel like biting yourself.
With KongaPay, you only enter those details once. Then, you will put in OTP at every point of payment thereafter. Is this not simple enough? I guess this is the reason I always opt for PayPal on foreign websites. I just want to pay, that is all I want to do. Don't let me think when I want to spend my money. Make my life easy. It is already hard enough to make money. Let me happily spend my money.
You can argue from now till tomorrow why it is easy for Konga to achieve this. You may say it is because they have the customer details and it is only on their website and all. Na you sabi...I just want to pay...you can complete it.
It is safe
In this era of KongaPay, I don't drop my phone anyhow and you don't even want to ask me what my BVN number is. These are information that I won't even share. I don't want to hear the story, "they shot bird, the mama fly". Whoever has the information to register your account or card and successfully makes a payment with it has enough information to know the colour of your pant.
There is even a limit to what you can buy. I remember, I couldn't buy a washing machine the first time KongPay started due to the N20,000 limit. I am not sure this has been reviewed. Anyway, I understand Konga. The fear of Nigeria scammers is the beginning of a successful business.
It is an alternative
When other self praised payment platforms are failing for over two days, shutting down businesses #straightFace, you can still pay with KongaPay. KongaPay is not just an alternative but a better one.
To all my Naija brothers, KongaPay is giving out N500 o. It is for the first 10,000 registered users. Do the math to know how much they are spending to make sure Nigerians get the best payment experience. Oh! I know what you are thinking but you are wrong. The money drops in your account instantly. I collected mine in my Diamond account and I "sharply" withdrew it ("make Konga no go change their mind"). This is what is truly called a give away.
I am sure you would have been imagining other payment option that would pay bonus into you virtual account, asked you to use it to purchase something and you would realise you needed to add some money...I laugh in Japanese. Please, come and learn how to get to the heart of Nigerians. Yes, I love "awoof". I am collecting the money Konga owe my forefather #wink#.
Another reason you should use KongaPay on Konga is there is no convenience fee o. This might change later o but enjoy it while it last now. "Make e no lost". To make matter worse, could you believe Konga gives discounts even on Airtime? Imagine buying N200 airtime for less the price. "Awoof" will not kill me. Chai, but this is sweet. I have always thought this could not happen in my life time.
There is really no good without bad. All these can't be so beautiful without a fault, but I see not the faults now o. After I have put Konga in debt by collecting all the discount on my purchase, I will then write about their issues. As it is for now, KongaPay must pay. (You all remember how Nigerians boasted of sending MTN back to South Africa when they started free calls...I can remember two friends who organised remote prayer meeting on it back in the days. It still makes me laugh).
This is actually a payment platform built for Nigerians. It is not business as usual for payment gateways. Konga just raised the bar. I am sure it would cause a stir if Konga releases this payment gateway to Nigeria market. Anyway, We business owners that want to do business won't mind if they drop dead, we will buy their coffins with KongaPay). This platform has really made my 2015 a fulfilled one. I just saw a Company doing my mind. I am tired of telling people what should be done and heard them say it is not possible. Now we all know “It is not possible” is a scam. The serious people are already doing it. Though, there might be some little challenges with the platform, I can bet my savings on this that, it will get better if it is being handled by Konga. Their engineers never failed Nigeria since 1404.
About the Author: Akinyele V. Olubodun is a programmer with a difference and lots of creativity. His thought and ideas have won both national and international awards. He has passion for the best and he is a perfectionist with style. He has an enviable leadership skill which has made him outstanding in his career.