A battle of bots and a game of wits

Chatbots In Africa: What’s With The Hyped Revolution That Didn’t Happen?

By  |  May 5, 2021

After a particularly frustrating experience with one of the many rigid commercial banks in Nigeria, Yinka Adewale resolved to take matters into his own hands. And he should know how; the year was 2016 and by then he had been in and around financial services for three years.

Lots of banks with digital channels, a glut of fintechs with multi-functional payment apps, yet people generally stuck to cash and overcrowded banking halls daily for even the most basic transactions.

Yinka had figured this was because people were just not familiar or comfortable with the available e-payment channels. But Nigerians are certainly familiar and comfortable with social media and instant messaging - Facebook, especially, with 27 million Nigerians on the platform currently.

So, at the time, it made sense to plug e-payment channels into something people were already used to; Facebook Messenger, but with a twist. That was the thinking that resulted in a startup. But that thinking had to be jettisoned for the good of the startup eventually.

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