Tell us about VPD money as an app that enables financial transaction?
VPD money is a financial services App brought to you by part of the team that delivered VoguePay (A leading payment solutions provider that was founded in 2012 and now operating across 5 continents). At VPD money, we believe financial services should not limit businesses and individual’s potential regardless of regional boundaries. VPD money is a financial services and lifestyle App that offers its users money management tools, instant access to a digital wallet and bank account. We are unifying the wallet, and digital banking experience in order to bridge the gap between Africa and the global e-commerce market. Enabling connectivity that drives performance powered by individuals, African & International SMEs, and the diaspora community seeking to trade or conduct transactions in/with Africa. In a nutshell, VPD is the new way of living. The banking choice for the smart, and new generation. It is a lifestyle banking app.
How are you different from other Fintechs?
In the fintech ecosystem we are all the same or have many things in common, but the difference is that we try to resolve a wide range of problems. We are borderless, we provide borderless solutions. We believe that if you go to any part of the world be it Kenya or Gambia, you shouldn’t be bothered about remittances, payment and exchange rates-that is where VPD money comes in. Though, we have Fintechs in payment, digital banking etc. we are into digital banking that is supported by artificial intelligence (AI) these solution helps with gathering data for you, tries to answer critical questions that seeks to understand how to serve you best. For instance, you may be interested in getting the best rate for a currency of your choice-Our solution addresses these questions. We ensure that banking is made easy using our digital intelligence financial solutions. We have made banking, and saving culture easier. For instance, you can decide to save money for a wedding in the next 6 months, Our solutions enable you to do this depending on the milestone you have put in place. The app addresses a lot of financial questions.
How has this solution been accepted in the market?
There was a time that we did a test campaign and we were overwhelmed with the response, about 35,000 Nigerians downloaded and keyed into the application in just one week. We had to make a difficult call to stop the scheme so that we can provide top notch services, and support to our existing customers. Our customer services were overwhelmed then, this shows how people are interested in our solutions!
The Legacy or conventional banking has been around, how is your relationship with them?
Well, our relationship has been great, as banks, the traditional banks ought to work with us and they are doing that. Though the regulation is developed around the legacy banks, a lot of smart banks are working hand-in-hand with innovative fintechs so as to disrupt themselves. Some are even buying fintechs and investing massively, any bank that wants to be part of the future must align with the realities which is fintech If they want to go far in this ecosystem, they need to align themselves with fintechs. If General Motors knew that Tesla would be this big, they would have invested in the technology, this is the same for traditional banks. Complacency is what is happening to African banks, they believe in might, number of staff and branches, it is not it, it is about agility and smartness. Unfortunately, a majority of the Banks’s solutions are from India and many of these solutions are ancient and obsolete technologies.
Majority of Banks are running on foreign software, do you think that this is a wrong approach?
It is not only a wrong approach, but a gross betrayal to millions of Nigeria that have the capacity to deliver and also a capital flight to the nation. It is worrisome. We have the human resource pool in Africa- when you go to Silicon Valley, you will notice that a lot of Nigerians are thriving, and manning serious IT projects, why are the Nigerian banks deploying obsolete Indian software in our home country? A majority of Nigerians in the IT sector feel so betrayed by this, For Bangalore, Nigerian financial institutions are their major customers. We want to change this narrative; in our company we have many nationalities among us, and that is why we are trying to change the narrative. If the banks support these IT firms and tech guys, they can build a robust system, most of the banks here are operating on an old system.
What are the challenges that you face doing business?
Well, doing business here on average day is hectic especially with the bureaucracy. Another challenge is the limited access to talented individuals, finding adequate talents is difficult. Yes, we have talented people in Nigeria, but a majority require further training and orientation, so we have to refine them, and help them unlearn the old systems, and start adopting our way of working.
Any expectations for the 2021, and how did you cope with lockdown?
I think that digital banking is well placed in Covid era, However, there are some minor ways this industry was affected. We are charged up, and we have a lot of things we are going to unveil this year.
How are you trying to address banking solutions for millennials?
We believe that the way financial services are consumed with the millennials have changed, we believe also that experiences have changed, and these are the things we want to address. Nigerians are very brilliant people but most of these brilliances are shown abroad and we want to bring this expertise back home. We are doing the bank of tomorrow today. The benefit of that is that Nigerians would see a significant change and even removal of transfer charges. We are poised to change banking for good. We believe that everyone deserves access to at their convenience. With my background in the payment industry, we had a partner that introduced a modern technology that altered the payment connectivity that in turn, changed the Nigerian banking space. We made payment connectivity free. Prior to this, it was one thousand dollars for payment connectivity, this is what we want to make available to Nigerians.
What are the features of your app?
Our App is tailored for your everyday needs, these needs such as Payment for utility bills, shopping globally, monthly entertainment subscriptions, flight, and event tickets on the go. We offer cash-back, when you the VPD money app, we give you Cash-back on all eligible purchases (Earn up to 3%) or via any of our partners. Another thing we have that is unique is our Contactless Card feature. This is a simple and secure way to make everyday purchases quickly and safely.
“It is not only a wrong approach, but a gross betrayal to millions of Nigerians that have the capacity to deliver, and also a capital flight to the nation. It is worrisome. We have the human capital- when you visit Silicon Valley, you will see a lot of Nigerians thriving and manning serious IT projects, why are Nigerian banks not giving Nigerians the same opportunity in our home country ? ”