The man who headed the innovators team at one of the banks that developed Flasme Cash mobile banking platform in Nigeria in 2002, Deji Oguntonade, has credited the emergence of the Global System of Mobile communication [GSM] in Nigeria as the catalyst that inspired the landmark application.
Speaking about the inspiration of the innovation for the first in an exclusive interview, Oguntonade said the advent of the GSM companies that came with lofty projections, especially MTN led to the birth of Flashme Cash.
“MTN projected then that 500,000 subscribers would join the network in 18 months. To us, at that time the figure seemed humongous. In 2002, the total customers’ base of the banks in the country was around 500,000.
“Imagine a company that is not up to one year making such a statement. It was quite intriguing that MTN can do that kind of a thing. Then the team said if technology can help MTN to achieve 500,000 subscribers in 18 months, we could also deploy technology to increase the number of customer base of banks”, he narrated.
According to him, as the team watched technology and SMS developed, the team rode on the back of technology to deliver Flashme Cash, the first mobile banking application in Nigeria.
The platform had airtime purchase menu at the launch. However, as the platform matured, other features such as Airtime transfer, funds transfer were added six month later.
Oguntonade was not surprised at the achievements in the fintech space. He added that, “there are still many things we can do. We can still get many people on board to use their phones for financial transactions”.