The dawn of Offline Payments (Part 1)

/ posted by Oluwafemi Matthew / Apr 16, 2018.

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Connected devices and over-the-air payments are ubiquitous nowadays.  Syncing seamlessly between devices and making payments without physically going to banks be with via virtual currencies or internet based banking have become the defacto way of doing things and this paradigm has become popular even in developing countries. But there is a catch.

                “The devices must be connected via internet”

While these covers for a large majority of app users( We are in the internet age … baby). It leaves a significant chunk of potential “would-be” customers out in the wild who do not have internet.

There are two approaches to solve this problem:

1.       Setting the cat among the Pigeons

This approach allows us to subtly overlook the problem and imagine that internet propagation will soon span those concerned (The internet-less). While this may in the long run become the final solution towards connecting all and sundry together.

It appears to be a solution far-fetched.  Similar to “waiting for the rains before planting the yams”. The whole world won’t get connected tomorrow and this approach will simply let us overlook the present problem and anticipating that the future will fix it ***Who even knows what the future will look like***

                                                                                                                             OR

2.       If the Mountain won’t come to Mohammed…

We desperately need to connect the “Internet-less”  as they are a significant bunch of potential “would-be” customers. Businesses thrive when people are connected , Business should still continue to thrive even when we have no Internet.  Finding an alternative while internet propagation continues to spreads look like a subtle solution to the current situation at hand.

First and foremost should be PAYMENTS… yes payments…. A way for the “Internet-less” to come in as part of the party. It’s time for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) the frontier of offline payments for offline businesses.


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