It’s finally here! Kudi is the Forex app that you’ve all been waiting for, without even knowing that you needed it! That’s right. Kudi makes trading currencies in Nigeria so much simpler. Let’s take a look at how chaotic the situation is at the moment, and how this app is a huge breath of fresh air.
Trading Currencies in Nigeria: The Struggle
If you’ve ever tried to sell foreign currencies in Nigeria, you know how uncertain it is that you’re not getting cheated. Within a radius of a few hundred meters, you could actually have several dealers with different rates! This is especially true when it comes to the local parallel market. The dealers, although they adhere to the general daily currency fluctuations, usually set their own rates, independently of any supervision or restraints. This often leads to disparities in prices that might seem somewhat inconsequential at first glance, but that could turn out to make a huge difference if you’re dealing with large amounts of currency.
Therefore, people usually have a few trusted dealers that they engage in business with on a regular basis, because, from their experience, these are the people that can provide the best rates. So a typical scenario would involve calling dealers one by one and then comparing their rates before making a decision. This process, besides being tedious and time-consuming, isn’t necessarily to the seller’s advantage. The simple reason being: you can’t possibly know every trader out there. The chances of there being someone that you don’t know about and that can give you a better rate are rather high, considering how volatile and informal the forex parallel market is in Nigeria. This can lead to substantial losses over time, without you even realising it!
So how do you ensure that you’re getting the best possible rates for each transaction? Here at Shixels, we came up with The Answer: Kudi!
Kudi to the Rescue
Kudi takes away all those concerns in an elegant way. The app simply displays the various dealers and banks engaging in Forex transactions along with their rates for the day and their locations, updated live. You can contact them directly through the app if you happen to need more details or clarifications. You can also leave ratings, allowing other users to ascertain a dealer’s reliability.
Now, this might sound simple, but it’s actually a huge benefit to those who often engage in currency trading! Given the app’s display setup, you can compare the rates at a glance. A process that would have taken several minutes can now be accomplished in the space of a few seconds. From there on out, you can easily pick the best rate available for your transaction. The difference might seem negligible in several cases, until you’re dealing with large sums. That’s when you realise the true value of obtaining the best possible rate.
Kudi: Locating Your Most Convenient Option
Besides the advantage gained from the ability to sort the dealers according to their rates, you might also be disinclined to go out of your way in order to change money. You might simply need the money in an emergency, and the difference in rates might be completely irrelevant to you, considering that you might not be dealing with large amounts of money. But then, let’s not forget that getting from one location in Lagos to another within a certain amount of time is never a foregone conclusion. In such cases, you might have a trusted dealer that you’re used to, but getting there on time might simply be impossible.
Thankfully, Kudi also gives you the option of sorting the dealers by location, allowing you to focus on those within your vicinity. You might discover that you actually never needed to drive half an hour every time you needed to engage in a trade, because there’s always been a trader within walking distance.
Kudi: Everyone’s a Trader
Sometimes you might actually need to buy foreign currencies instead of getting rid of them. Kudi allows you to do that easily as well! Instead of going to a dealer, who will often have taken into consideration calculations that extend beyond immediate concerns, you can simply buy them from another app user! After all, they have what you need and vice-versa. Sometimes it might be more convenient to deal with an individual. This will allow people that usually don’t have much interaction with the Forex market to take a dive and perhaps create a new side-career for themselves!
Besides, in some cases, trading with an individual could actually turn out to be the best option. It should be noted that traders in Nigeria usually won’t give you the same rate for the dollar if the bill is older than 2006. And the difference is quite substantial. It’s quite difficult to understand considering that the dollar has the same value regardless of the year the note was printed in, but let’s leave that aside. They must have a (valid?) reason for handling things that way.
Another odd practice here is to slash the rate according to the bill’s denomination. Therefore, if the rate is of 322 naira to the dollar, for instance, you’ll only get that rate if you’re dealing with hundred dollar bills. A fifty dollar bill could get you a rate of 315, perhaps. A twenty dollar bill? 308. Let’s not even mention twenties, tens, fives and ones. It just keeps going downhill and at that point you’re simply being scammed.
But if I need dollars because I’m traveling the next day, I don’t really care how old the bills are. Hundred dollars will remain hundred dollars to me. I also really don’t care if I receive a bunch of twenties or tens as opposed to fifties or hundreds. the value will remain exactly the same to me. Someone with low-denomination or old notes will definitely benefit much more from dealing with me than with an official trader. All the previous concerns simply don’t apply to our transaction. Similarly, I’m likely to get a much better rate from an individual that is well aware that he would lose big time if he were to try doing business with traders. In short, everyone wins!
Kudi: Promoting Honesty
Let’s also be honest about something. Some traders are unscrupulous. They might know that you usually don’t have a clue about rates, allowing them to wantonly rip some clients off. With this platform, the traders will be somewhat compelled to keep their rates reasonable. The visual impact of a direct comparison between rates will quickly attract attention to dishonest traders. Over the long run, cheating customers simply won’t be feasible. This should gradually contribute into bringing the market into a state of reasonable equilibrium (as it should have been from the start).
The Kudi app also allows you to view the rates being used by various banks. At the moment, considering the disparity between the official and parallel exchange rates for the dollar, not many might be willing to use such official channels. But let’s keep in mind that for certain particularly huge transactions, you might simply have no choice but to deal with banks. Therefore, that option remains available for those who happen to need it.
On another note, the ability to leave ratings is particularly useful when it comes to establishing a dealer’s reputation. Lagos isn’t the safest place on earth, nor is it the one with the highest density of honesty per square meter. It might not come as a revelation, but it’s important to keep in mind.
For instance, one of the reasons why we decided to implement a rating system was, amongst others, due of a peculiar incident that we got wind of a few weeks ago. Someone trying to sell dollars ended up being cheated in the most outrageous of ways. Having handed the dollars to the dealer and collected the naira equivalent, he realised that he was short of a sizeable amount after counting it. The dealers pretended to have misunderstood the rate involved and refused to sell to him at the rate he was asking for. So it ended wit him giving them back their naira and leaving with his dollars. Only… the dollars they handed back to him were fake! With Kudi, he would have known to stay well clear of such a dealer.
All in all, this new platform is still in its infancy and already solves a great deal of fundamental issues related to micro-trading currencies in Nigeria. You can look forward to much more features in upcoming versions, such as the ability to engage in trades directly through the platform as well as expansions in terms of geographical coverage. Stay tuned and don’t forget to download the app!