We talked to Kayode Adesiyan of OnlineNaira, the payment gateway to use if you are looking to sell to Africans or buy from Africans in 33 African Countries and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Kayode Adesiyan: My immediate family, wife, and kids are doing very well even in these uncertain times. We have done all to obey Government advice on #Covid-19, and we have stayed at home at all times.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded OnlineNaira.
Kayode Adesiyan: I needed to send money to a friend in Nigeria in 2010. I instructed my friend to sign-up with PayPal, but it would not allow them to have an account. In April of 2011, I started OnlineNaira. Today, we help Africans to process pay-outs and deposits in the Betting, Casino and Forex Markets.
How does OnlineNaira innovate?
Kayode Adesiyan: As a small business, innovation is placed on the heads of our workforce and myself. We often come together to challenge each other’s thinking in order to continuously improve our existing procedures and systems.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Kayode Adesiyan: All our activities happen online, many more people are forced to use online services, and we have benefitted immensely from the pandemic; we were able to add a few more customers as a result, and our financial position has greatly improved.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Kayode Adesiyan: We have on-going plans to increase personnel by 20% as a direct result of the pandemic. This is confirmation that we need to be better prepared should any issues force even more people to work online.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Kayode Adesiyan: Our customer service has improved drastically, especially in the pandemic where we actually receive an increase in the customer service interaction. We now have live Facebook chats open from 6 am – 12 midnight. We also endeavor to always send relevant information through email, and in urgent times, we contact our users through WhatsApp.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Kayode Adesiyan: As a result of the increase in patronage throughout the pandemic, we had no reason to seek government help in any way. Our profit has gone up, and we are looking forward to paying a little more tax during this financial year.
Your final thoughts?
Kayode Adesiyan: The payment gateway industry is well placed to take advantage of more people working online, and OnlineNaira has been well placed to make full use of the opportunity. While we wish the companies adversely affected the best, it is a time for all to rethink their online strategies.