It was late at night. 3am. I had this big emergency that needed quite some cash. I quickly called a few PayPal agents and in a few minutes I was sorted. I went back home still a bit shaken up, but I was relieved from what would have been excruciating pain.
I know many of you have had such situations. An emergency comes up that can’t wait. The only cash you have is in PayPal. So, you call up a PTM agent, send them the dollars and get the cash in your M-Pesa within 5 minutes. Emergency handled.
I’ve trained and mentored some of the agemts. PayPal to M-Pesa is actually in my “Past Businesses” box since it was one of my most lucrative businesses once in the past.
The profits of this model are definitely going down fast right now. Safaricom and Equity manenos. They’ll still have clients e.g. those whose names mismatch, get technical errors or need cash in minutes.
Below are some of the reasons I really appreciate these guys:
1. They help people in crisis
If you’re in a tight spot, they exchange your cash in minutes. This has gotten children out of hospital, helped parents pay school fees last minute, etc.
2. It’s HARD to raise the kind of capital needed
Do you know how hard it is for these guys to get capital? Some have gone through difficult stuff to get that consistent capital to be able to serve you day in, day out.
3. They get scammed to the tune of 6 figures
When these guys get scammed, it’s in the tune of 6 figures. Yes, you can easily lose 200k in a minute from some of these crazy scammers. This is one of the main reasons their charges are so high.
4. They soft protested for the latest developments to come through
When I was in the business, I used to call it a soft protest. Back then, PayPal hadn’t partnered with any Kenyan bank or institution like now. They claimed Kenya had poor laws. Skrill and Payoneer were working fine, so their “poor laws” claim was pure hogwash.
5. At some point in the past, they were our ONLY option
Back in the days, EVERYONE depended on PayPal to M-Pesa agents.
A few of us managed to add Payoneer to PayPal and use that back in 2011. I even got droves of affiliate commissions when I referred others to use that PayPal to Payoneer system.
Sadly, PayPal locked that down in 2014! New users can’t add this any more.
People had to go back to agents till Equity came through. Now Safaricom. PayPal will soon partner with a couple of other institutions. Things are looking good for Kenya and we all appreciate these great services at negligible costs.
About online business models
Make decisions based on data
To all who do business right here, always make business decisions based on data. PayPal is making doing the same. For example, cryptos threaten their future existence. They also have some issues with eBay. Google about that.
They got data from the agents themselves in Google and Facebook. All major blogs had posts on PTM. There were AdSense and social media ads all over.
Saf also knew how much, say, Chura or ePay were making.
Finally, they got data from Equity. PayPal to Equity gave them some interesting revenue. They realized Kenya is not “some joker country with bad laws”.
Hurray! Our soft protest worked. Keep standing firm.
Stay in charge of your MAIN Business
Businesses see problems from afar, and shelter themselves. Do the same as well.
Don’t let your MAIN business be highly dependent on another business. That business will always protect itself FIRST. You remain dispensable at any time.
I once wrote right against overdependance on PayPal. I’m also against overdependence on Amazon, Upwork, Facebook, Google, iWriter etc. They protect themselves first. You remain dispensable.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s okay to have businesses that are dependent on others. Look at this:
- Kenya now has affiliates (some very young) earning MILLIONS of shillings through Amazon Associates.
- PayPal to M-Pesa guys have raked in 6-7 monthly figures.
- A Kenyan lady has made over Sh. 9 million in Upwork over the years (not per month but the total earnings in 5-6 years)!
They used these platforms to spring up their revenue, and now (before things go south), I tell them to start other MAIN businesses that they’re 100% in charge of.
Start from somewhere, but as you grow, don’t let your MAIN business be fully dependent on another. That way, it’s hard to recover when that PayPal, M-Pesa, Upwork or whatever else decides to boot you.
I hope you get the point. I learnt this the hard way.
Join me in appreciating these guys. Thank them, pray for them and bless them. Encourage them as much as you can. They are good men and women. They’ve gone through blood, sweat and tears to ensure we get funds right when we need it.