Date: 27 September 2021
Author: FINTECH Circle
This week we shine a spotlight on Omoniyi Kolade, the Founder & CEO of SeerBit. Find out how their innovative solutions bridge the gap between online and offline payments, and what’s Omoniyi’s advice for anyone starting out as a founder.
What does SeerBit do in one sentence?
SeerBit is a Pan-African paytech company helping to make payments on the continent borderless, seamless, and inclusive for both online and offline merchants, to enable ease of scale and provide a world-class transaction experience.
Tell us why your company is a game-changer for our industry?
Over the last decade, Nigeria’s payments services witnessed an evolution spurred by growing commercial activities and the digital boom (increased internet usage and smartphone penetration). According to a 2021 report published by Data Reportal, about 50% of Nigeria’s population are using the internet and approximately 90% have access to mobile phones. This is an indication that half of Nigeria’s population has been digitally included – which is the backbone to online and real-time electronic payments systems. Other African countries are seeing the same shift too.
However, there is a huge gap in the market which doesn’t gain as much attention as it should. If 50 percent of Nigeria’s population has digital access, how are the majority of transactions in Nigeria and the rest of Africa still happening offline?
This is the gap SeerBit was created to solve. To create a truly digital ecosystem, we choose to create payment solutions that bridge the gap between online and offline with innovations that defy boundaries. For example, most Nigerians still transact in cash- how can we make sure that digital products are still available to this class of people, with convenient payment options?
This problem not only affects the cash-based customer but also the online merchants who could lose out on the billions of dollars happening in the offline market. SeerBit exists to plug these gaps as our payments solutions are always geared towards creating opportunities for everyone to thrive.
What has been SeerBit’s biggest achievement to date?
SeerBit was launched in January 2020, and within 20 months of operation have been able to build and scale our payment solution(s) into 8 African markets and provide over 5000 merchants with a locally adapted product that enhances efficiency and growth potential.
Additionally, SeerBit’s customer-centric approach, continuous analysis and in-depth understanding of the market’s needs have gone a long way to helping the brand build impactful solutions.
For example, in Africa, 95% of MSMEs which are the main drivers of economic growth tend to operate in the offline market. However, existing payment processing solutions have largely catered only to the 5% of online merchants.
At SeerBit we realized that there is a need for a solution that bridges the gap between these two markets to reduce disenfranchisement of customers. We are currently rolling out our solution to help MSMEs in Africa digitize payments and enable them to operate online. We consider this project one of our biggest achievements so far due to its immense potential.
What has been your greatest challenge leading a startup so far?
Just like most startups, SeerBit has encountered the talent acquisition challenge. As we pursue efforts to scale into other African markets, it is crucial that we hire the right blend of talents that can make our ‘Payment without Boundaries’ vision a reality. This process, though important, can be arduous and time consuming. We at SeerBit however continue to place the utmost value on talent optimization and creating a positive work culture to harvest innovation and growth for the business.
What is your typical day as a founder?
My typical workday usually starts with a brief analysis of the company’s progress with respect to our set targets and goals. Additionally, being a startup founder, I am constantly scanning for the opportunities and challenges that exist within the business and more broadly in the market, to create strategies and navigate accordingly.
For me, no 2 days are the same, as each day presents its own challenges and opportunities. However, one thing I am assured of in my daily schedule is being involved in strategy meetings with existing or potential partners, and also with the different SeerBit teams.
What is your advice to anyone starting out as an entrepreneur?
My advice to anyone on this entrepreneurship journey is to come to terms with the fact that challenges are what make the difference. Challenges in the market will present opportunities to build impactful solutions. Challenges faced by the team will work to create a resilient and innovative workforce. Challenges faced when building your startup will groom you as an entrepreneur to become the best version of yourself – a leader who innovates and inspires positive change in his/her community.
Omoniyi Kolade is Founder and CEO of SeerBit; a payment processing platform connecting online and offline commerce with a mission to build the payment ecosystem that helps scale businesses across Africa. An expert on Africa’s financial services sector, particularly in payments technology, Omoniyi has provided advisory services to some of Africa’s largest banks and has introduced innovative digital products to Nigeria’s banking sector.