Monday, July 1, 2013

How I got stuck in ShopRight because I didn't have cash. How ripe is Nigeria for a cashless society?

I've always been an advocate for paperless and cashless society. In my office, my colleagues know I have soft copies of almost any document and hardly ever keep hard copies unless I am mandated to which usually gets to my nerves.

This is also my behaviour towards cash. I buy almost anything online with my debit card, pay for my cable, for flights, use PoS machines in boutiques and shops and even recharge people's mobile phones directly online.

I can't remember the last time I was at the bank because I've not had a reason to for a while. I use any online payment platforms you can think about. I use and love mobile money and I get angry that I can't use PoS in the general local market and the filling stations. So, these are the only places I go to with cash.

Yesterday, a fateful Sunday, My Dear Husband and I (who is also an advocate for cashless society) set out to ShopRite to do our monthly shopping. After shopping, we happily paid with the ATM card and set out to get some cash from the ATM to pay for parking which was just N200.

We walked leisurely to the ATM gallery and inserted the ATM card, I don't have to tell you that we tried all the ATMs at the shopping mall (about 7 all together) and non of them was dispensing cash! 

We went back to where we were meant to pay for parking and asked if they had a PoS machine, of course they didn't. We went back to the car and ransacked everywhere, hoping that by some stroke of chance, some angels would have left N200 in our car, but we weren't so lucky. At the end of the day, we stood, looking at eachother and wondering what to do. 

Anyways, finally, we went back to ShopRite and started asking customers at the payment counters if they will mind us paying for their purchases with our card while they give us their cash in return!

Finally, we got someone who said he will be paying N5,000 cash and the balance with his card. We were so grateful when he handed the cash to us while we paid for his purchase with our card, it was like priceless gold and we were finally able to pay for the parking. 

I learnt yesterday that Nigeria is so not ready for cashless society afterall. Be ready to be embarrassed if you go about without cash.

Share you cashless society story and let's know if you think Nigeria is ripe enough for a cashless society.


  1. I completely agree dat nigeria is so so not ready for d cashless society. Imagine a cash not dispensing error with another banks ATM and the two banks can't synchronise to reconcile the error since December 2012 a day to my wedding day. Instead they just claim that cash was taken by customer without proof. I m still at loggerheads with my bank that such claims brings disrepute to a customers integrity.I still plan to deal with dis two banks. Emmanuel j

  2. Ohhhh, you want to go cashless? Be very ready for embarrassments and disappointments. I don't go anywhere without cash and I don't pay for anything with my card online. The security is too poor and the banks keep taking your money.

    I can't risk my account security with our porus Internet security.

  3. madam, an im good for you! lol
    I am an advocate for cashless payments too, e no mean say u go comot for house with Zero naira. even the oyinbo people we dey copy still carry some loose change in their wallets.
    See you this weekend jare, and if una like carry me go place wey we go dey stranded o!

    1. Lol, better ensure you come with enough cash because if you as much as call me to pay the cab guy, I'll hand over my debit card to you.