Nigerians are going through it right now. Mere days to the 2023 elections and there’s fuel and cash scarcity, harmattan 2.0, and now, some bank apps are refusing to open or allow transfers. 

After a certain Nigerian bank — that creates TV shows and organises fashion events — caused a driver to almost beat me up, I decided to ask other Nigerians how they’re hacking this financial mess. These are some of the alternatives they gave me. 

Make card-only transactions 

With no cash or bank app, it’s time to focus on your debit card. Everywhere you go, ask for a POS, and please, pack your slippers and run if they don’t have one. Also, connect all your cards to your Bolt or Uber accounts to avoid getting stranded because your transfer is taking longer than all three Lord of the Rings movies combined. 

Help people make payments with your card in exchange for their cash

Standing by the supermarket counter and offering to pay for someone’s groceries might look weird at first. But when you go home with different colours of new notes, the shame will leave your body. For this to be effective, you have to offer Black Friday sales: If someone’s bill is ₦‎9,800 ask them to give you ₦‎9,500 while you sort out the remaining ₦‎300. 

Become active in church and collect cash offering in exchange for transfer 

What God cannot do doesn’t exist, and the latest miracle is finding cash in the house of the Lord. The inside gist is some people with access are collecting part of your Sunday offerings and making transfers to the church’s account. If you’re an active member, now is the time to befriend the usher or pastor for blessings in the form of cash. 

Become best friends with your nearest POS agent for insider gist 

After President Bubu, the next most powerful person in Nigeria is that guy with a POS machine and umbrella at your junction. POS agents are the new movers and shakers, so having one on your side to either flash or call you as soon as container cash arrives might just be what you need to survive these dark times. 

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Make your transfers at midnight like a witch 

Since bank apps have refused to function during the day, some Nigerians are doing night vigils to make their transfers, and we heard it works. Write down all the account numbers you need to send money to, open your bank app at 1 a.m. while witches are having drama rehearsals, and watch at least one of your transactions cross the finish line. 

Use digital financial apps like Opay, Carbon, etc.

With regular bank apps disgracing and turning us into onigbeses, Nigerians are turning to other apps that offer financial services, like OPay, Carbon, Orange Money Africa and GOMoney. It might be a struggle to send money from your regular bank app to one of these apps, but it’s smooth sailing from when you manage to japa financially. 

Break the kom kom under your bed

Yes, I know you’ve been saving money in that wooden piggy bank since your NYSC days, but how can you keep saving when you can’t access your account to buy a bottle of water to survive? Only the living can save, dear. Get a hammer and demolish that DIY bank today. You can go back to your saving culture when life gets back to normal. 

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