There are certain systems in countries outside Africa that favour employees and make life a bit more bearable. Some of these systems do not exist in Africa, and this is why so many Africans prefer to travel abroad to be able to make ends meet.

Julian Nana Owusu, CEO of Zuberi, pointed out one such system in a post he made on twitter. He discovered that the daily salary/allowance payment system did not yet exist in Africa as it did in other continents.

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He decided to introduce this system in Ghana, known as Zuberi, but soon realised why no one had been motivated to introduce the daily allowance system. 

Zuberi is a mobile app for employee benefits in Africa. As an alternative to digital loans for workers, salaried employees can access their salary every day instead of waiting until the end of the month.

Julian encountered several challenges, including continuously discovering and solving product-related problems, lack of enough capital to deploy salary loans as well as acquiring a lending licence. 

It has become increasingly difficult to detect genuine apps from the scams in Africa. Africans are sceptical about trying out new products or products they feel are ‘too good to be true‘ and they end up tagging these products as scams. Julian encountered this situation as well after building the Zuberi app. So many people were reluctant to download or join the app for fear of being scammed, but they cannot be blamed entirely because these things do happen.

After finally earning the trust of the public, 15,000+ people signed up to access their salaries on Zuberi platform within three years. This shows how much employees value the idea of a daily allowance, as compared to waiting till the end of the month to access salaries. Maybe African countries can consider adopting this system, or at least conduct a survey to find out if employees will prefer this new system to the already existing one. 

One question Africans are probably asking is, how to secure funds to support this system, considering the number of interested people. This is the exact problem that sprung up from this overload of sign-ups on the Zuberi platform- the lack of enough capital to deploy salary loans. Another problem that followed was financial institutions unable to assist with a line of credit. 

Let’s not forget, what measures will be put in place to ensure that the salary loans given out will be paid back? It is well known, especially among lending institutions in Africa, that getting loans back after giving them out is one of the most challenging situations they face. Zuberi lost about 14% of its working capital in 2021 because money lent out was not paid back. they needed to have access to bank accounts and run a direct debit type of system. After several months, they acquired a startup that already had a licence to make direct debits. 

Despite all these challenges, one amazing thing observed was that Julian managed to make funding of $700k last for 3 years. The secret to this is something African startups can take into consideration. Julian mentioned that it is better to hire people who are not qualified for the job and coach them to do the job. He also mentioned that it is better to partner with others or acquire businesses to grow faster. Also, look for the easiest way to perform tasks using little to no money. 

Zuberi is flourishing despite all the hurdles they encountered on their journey. Julian Nana Owusu’s story reveals how far determination and building trustworthy connections can take a person.

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