So Good They Can’t Ignore You!
This is a very short story about Sekou.
Background info: I run a payment company that helps Nigerian businesses accept and manage recurring payments online.
Sekou is a close friend from high school and university. Recently introduced to Uber. Sekou is highly exposed and educated but swore a long while ago never to use his debit card for online transactions for fear of the unknown (not like he had a bad experience). Sekou will go out of his way to get basic things done just to avoid using his card online. It’s so serious that even when I asked him to test our gateway, he refused and I understood.
Sekou stayed true to his words all these years and only uses his card on ATM machines.
Until a few days back…
Sekou used his card on Uber.
“Wow! Why Uber? Why now? You are not just using your card but you are storing it” I said to Sekou.
Sekou responded “I don’t have a car. I love Uber. I trust Uber. Even though I’m still afraid and can still do cash, I think I will take the risk”.
I was speechless and could not stop thinking about what led to this change in behavior. I realized that for a number of heavy Uber users in Nigeria, even though the cash option is available, card is preferred. I kept wondering how come Sekou trusts Uber?
One word that kept coming to my mind was… “Experience”
Sekou, like a number of new Uber users, was wowed by his first Uber experience and has been loyal. A lot of people, much wiser than me must have said this several times
“if you want people to do something they have never done before, you have to give them an experience they have never had”
This could be by giving them something they want but never had, making them feel a way they never felt, showing them something they’ve never seen, connecting with them at a level no one ever has or just making them feel special. A new and awesome experience is essential to drive new behavior.
There’s been a lot of debate about how there are ‘only 200,000 active cards in Nigeria’ and one of the biggest questions (outside financial inclusion) for many of us in the fintech and payment space is “How do we get more ‘financially included’ people to be comfortable with electronic transactions and digital financial services?”
My major takeaway from this Sekou’s experience is simple: if we want people to do something they have never done before, we have to create solutions and products that are too good to ignore. Something so valuable that the perceived and actual reward is worth far more than the perceived risk.
I have heard about how people would do anything to access credit.
I believe creating awesome experiences and being too valuable to be ignored is the way to bring about behavioral change and this is essential in our quest to expand the electronic payment market in Nigeria.
End of story!
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