The website, Ratio, provides users with names, pictures and location of licensed currency exchanges in different Nigerian cities.
The product aims to bridge the distance between registered BDC (bureau de change) operators licensed by the CBN with clients looking to convert currencies, and currently lists 2,618 currency exchanges on its network from 22 states in Nigeria.
Lanre Jawando, the website’s creator says it was built in reaction to the “ills associated with exchanging currencies with roadside traders, like robbery and fake currency”.
Roadside foreign exchange traders are commonplace in Lagos. Nigerian commercial banks rarely make currency exchange for small scale end users, making the roadside money changers the last and often only resort.
Instead of taking that risk, Ratio provides a more secure alternative. The website provides a directory of what should be trusted BDC operators with their addresses, phone numbers and Google maps coordinates. Users can compare the rates of various operators. The currency converter on the site also allows users check out the conversion rates of different currencies on the go.
You can’t buy or sell currency via Ratio as of now though. “We have liaised with five BDCs already and hope to increase the number so that people can order currency online,” Lanre said.
Lanre is working with Suara Mohammed, and Ayodeji Bowale who is the lead developer on the project. After the website’s launch in April 2015, they told TechCabal that they are looking to roll out a number of features, including a Ratio wallet which users can preload with cash and make easy and fast currency exchange transactions.