We launched the Paylater mobile app on this day, exactly two years ago. It’s been a great journey so far — lots of ups, a few downs but always, always a rewarding experience.
Back in 2016, we were a very small team, armed with lofty ambitions and venturing where no-one else had previously — as the first lending mobile app in Nigeria, we were in uncharted territory, and faced a few common (and understandable, at the time) questions:
“How can you lend to Nigerians without collateral, no documents or even a physical meeting?”
“How will you get your money back?”
“Are you guys crazy?!”
It turns out the answer to all these questions were pretty straightforward (we are a little crazy), and have guided our focus as we’ve added new features and developed the app. Here’s a few of our ‘non-negotiables’ that have helped:
“I love using services that make my life harder” — said no-one ever. Yet traditional financial services often do just that, to the average person. Our first mission with the app was to craft a digital experience so simple and delightful to customers that a sense of ownership and a real bond forms. Getting a loan or performing financial transactions should never feel like hard work, despite your bank officer’s best efforts at proving otherwise. Simplifying life for our customers was and will always be a primary aim.
Financial information is some of the most sensitive data in our lives, and providing this can be a scary thing when new to a service. Our customers have placed their trust in us to keep that secure and protect their well-being, and we reciprocate that by providing appropriate financial services tailored to each individual and, in most cases, for the first time ever. The more trusted people feel, the more trustworthy they will be. We’re no love doctors, but when relationships are built on mutual trust, they usually stand the test of time.
We like to think we’re a pretty smart team and are great at innovating and solving problems— but even more so are the people who use our app every single day. Our customers care a lot and are never shy about giving us feedback on how to improve, and we always take that on board to deliver better service. It’s a major key.
900,000 downloads later, and having spent a lot of the time since as the #1 Finance app on the Nigeria Google Play Store, we’re starting to think we just might be getting somewhere. It’s validation that our service is truly filling a need (or perhaps people just really like our logo).
We’ve watched on with an immense sense of pride as our customers have used loans to build businesses, further their education, pay for emergencies and get out of tight financial situations, even on weekends.
While we’re humbled to be able to impact anyone’s life positively and for being around this long — that just means it’s time to work even harder.
We want to serve the next billion. To do that, the Paylater app will have to become a platform that helps individuals take control of their finances, and offers a range of features and services to support that. The first step was short-term loans. Then came bill payments. Next up is our Savings product.
What comes after that? Stay tuned. 📺
Here’s to the next 2 years, and beyond!
The Paylater app is available for download on the Google Play Store.