Lagos, July 2, 2012 – Paga, Nigeria’s leading money transfer service launched in February 2011, today announced it has secured new investments from Adlevo Capital, Omidyar Network, Acumen Fund, Capricorn Investment Group, and current investors Goodwell West Africa Microfinance Development Company.
Paga’s mission is to deliver innovative and universal access to financial services for all Nigerians. The company plays a critical role in enabling a cashless Nigeria and delivering access to finance to the over 80% of Nigerians that are un-banked or under-banked. The company uses a multi-stakeholder approach. Paga is available on all mobile networks and is delivered to customers in collaboration with strong local banks (including microfinance institutions), retailers and various other private and public sector organisations.
Paga enables any person with a mobile phone or Internet access to send cash to anyone in Nigeria, buy or send airtime credit, pay bills, pay both online and physical retail stores (without cash notes or a debit card), and perform a variety of other transactions. Individuals can also perform these transactions in their communities by visiting any agent in Paga’s growing network, comprising of more than 850 agents currently located in 19 cities.
Commenting on the purpose of the investment, Paga’s founder & CEO, Tayo Oviosu said “The business opportunity for Paga is huge, and it follows that the capital requirement to achieve our mission is also significant. A key requirement for success in our industry is having investors who share our vision and have the financial fortitude for such an undertaking. To date, we have been funded by individual investors and Goodwell. We are humbled by the interest we continue to receive from both local and international institutional investors. This investment will enable Paga to scale our operations across Nigeria and allow us to build upon our front-runner position. We have carefully chosen our investors for their track record and the immense value they will bring towards accomplishing our mission.”
Speaking on the opportunity presented by Paga, Yemi Lalude, managing partner at Adlevo Capital, said “Nigeria is Africa’s largest consumer market and a key requirement for commerce to grow is efficient payment systems across all spectrums of society. What we like about Paga is their holistic approach to servicing merchants by providing a secure and simple solution for both banked and un-banked users to pay for goods and services. We are impressed with the calibre and accomplishments of the Paga team and proud to have led this financing round.”
Arjuna Costa, director of investments at Omidyar Network, added, “Omidyar Network is very pleased to invest in Paga. The company’s innovative mobile solutions for commerce combined with its potential to enable financial inclusion broadly could be key factors in driving large scale social impact. By replacing cash as the primary method of payment, Paga enables real-time transactions that are more accessible, transparent and inclusive. We believe Paga has the potential to rapidly scale and improve the lives of millions across Nigeria and the region.”
Speaking further on Paga’s social impact, Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, said “We think Paga’s innovative offerings will go a long way in bringing new economic opportunities to people that have been underserved by traditional financial services.” With more than half of Nigerians living on less than $1 a day, it is critical to find ways to deliver low cost financial services to the un-banked and under-banked. Godfrey Mwindaare, the director of Acumen Fund’s West Africa office, added “The Paga team is already working to deliver on its plans for low cost savings products, micro-insurance, and other financial services through its agent network and in partnership with strong local banks. We look forward to working with Paga and the investor consortium that Paga has attracted to help the company achieve its goal of bringing financial access to 40 million Nigerians by 2015.”
Speaking on Paga’s success to date, early investor, ‘Tokunboh Ishmael, managing director of Alitheia Capital, co-manager of Goodwell West Africa Microfinance Development Company said “As the first institutional investor in Paga, Goodwell has always believed in the opportunity of a platform like Paga to foster financial inclusion in Nigeria. From the onset, Paga has continually exceeded expectations and this strengthens our confidence in Paga’s ability to achieve its goals. Paga’s success thus far has led to the quality of investors that are now joining us on this journey for the long-term.”
Elaborating on the investment, Dipender Saluja, managing director of Capricorn Investment Group, said “Our belief in the power of innovation to catalyze economic and social advancement drew us to Paga. Paga’s platform offers consumers a secure way to process financial transactions. Millions of Nigerian consumers who rely on cash can now use their mobile devices, the internet, or Paga agents to make payments and purchase goods. Paga has tremendous potential and we look forward to working with the team to build a great company.”
Speaking further on innovation, Oviosu said “Innovation is at the core of Paga. Paga is a home-grown solution that overcomes a core challenge in Nigeria – how to transfer money or pay for anything without physically carrying cash. Imagine a day you walk into your local provision store, to buy provisions for the weekend and you don’t need to carry cash, or even your wallet! Simply all you have is money in Paga. The storeowner processes your transaction via Paga and now has his money in the bank. The opportunities abound and this is why investors have put their weight behind our team to help us achieve our mission.”
Since launching to the general public, Paga has processed over 276,000 transactions worth more than N2.6 billion. On June 4 2012, Paga achieved a major milestone and crossed 100,000 unique users. Today Paga has over 125,000 users.
Customers can use Paga directly from their mobile phones or Internet-enabled devices by visiting www.mypaga.com or a Paga agent. Recipients of money sent can simply go to any Paga agent to collect the funds and do not need to be Paga customers to do so.
Paga was advised on this investment round by Norton Rose LLP (Partner – Bayo Odubeko) and the investors were advised by Bowman Gilfillan (Partner – Lele Modise).
Paga was founded in April 2009 with a mission to deliver innovative and universal access to financial services in Africa. Paga received its provisional licence to operate from the Central Bank of Nigeria in November 2010 and full license November 2011. Paga is underpinned by a secure payments platform that is built with the flexibility to operate in any environment and on the most basic mobile phone and Internet enabled device. To maximise the network effects critical for the long-term success, Paga has taken a multi-stakeholder approach and works with strong local banks and microfinance institutions and on all mobile networks. Customers can use Paga via multiple channels – SMS, Online, Java application on a device, and our agent network. The company has gone to great lengths to balance simplicity and security of its platform. To learn more visit www.mypaga.com
Contact: Ayisola Iroche – firstname.lastname@example.org – 0700-000-7242
About Acumen Fund
Acumen Fund is working to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders and breakthrough ideas. We invest patient capital in business models that deliver critical goods and services to the world’s poor, improving the lives of millions. Since 2001, Acumen Fund has globally invested more than $75 million in 69 companies. We are also working to build a global community of emerging leaders that believe in creating a more inclusive world through the tools of both business and philanthropy. Please visit www.acumenfund.org for more information.
SOURCE: Acumen Fund Press Release
By Amechi Ogbonna, The Sun
M r Jay Alabraba is the co-founder and executive director in charge of Sales and Marketing at Pagatech Limited, an indigenous financial services provider licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
At a recent meeting in Lagos, he spoke about the innovation his company was bringing into the nation’s financial services industry and its strategies to reach an estimated 59 million adult Nigerians that currently do not have formal bank accounts with any of the 22 banks operating in the country. Alabraba also gave hints on how Pagatech plans to expand the scope of micro finance, savings and insurance to the grassroots.
The company known today as Paga was founded in early 2009 with a mission to deliver innovative and universal access to financial services in Africa. Before commencing operations in the country, the firm received its provincial licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria in November 2010, while full operating license was granted it in August 2011.
As we speak, our operation is underpinned by a secure payments platform that is built with the flexibility to operate in any environment and on the most basic mobile phone.
In line with our strategy to maximize the network effects critical for the long-term success of our service, the firm took a multi-stakeholder approach by partnering select banks, insurance companies and microfinance institutions. Paga works on all mobile networks as customers can use its services via multiple channels, including SMS, on-line, and application on the phone. The company has gone to great lengths to balance simplicity and security of its platform.
Our services have been designed to help Nigerians transfer money to anyone through their mobile phones, Internet connected device, or at any agent in Paga’s nationwide network of agents.
As part of strategies to provide quality services to our clients, we have secured a $2 million innovative grant from Elfina, following a highly competitive and rigorous application process that spanned several months, including thorough checks on both the status of the business and viability of its long-term potentials. EFInA chose to award the grant to Paga above a host of other applicants, for the ambition and clarity of its planned initiative and its track record in performance to date.
I can only say that we are proud to have received $2 million innovation grant from Elfina as well as being proud to be associated with the organization even before the grant.
EFInA is an independent, professional and non-profit organization funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID). The organization was set up in late 2007 with a purpose to promote pro-poor financial sector development and financial inclusion in Nigeria. “With over 59 million unbanked adults, finding new ways of reaching out to this market and bring low cost financial services is a major challenge we aim to address. By bringing low cost services to every neighbourhood, we believe we can help bring a large number of Nigerians out of poverty and improve living standards.
Besides Elfina we are also working with other partners including banks, insurance companies, microfinance banks and a couple of other non -governmental organizations
Our targets and achievements
These financial products and services have been rolled out by the company in collaboration with some partners which include banks insurance companies and non -governmental organizations.
LAPO is the largest Microfinance banks in the country reputed for poverty alleviation and economic empowerment of the poor.
As is core to our multi-stakeholder approach at Paga, we will be working with partners such as Diamond Bank, LAPO – Nigeria’s largest Micro-Finance Institution, ADIC and GT Assur to develop and deliver low cost financial services to all Nigerians at our agents. The EFInA grant will fund our work in this area and the much needed public education required for success. Our goal is to bring financial services to over 40 million Nigerians by 2015.
He explained that both EFInA and Paga believe that to reach the un-banked or under-banked in Nigeria, innovative approaches with multiple stakeholders in the financial sector is the key to success and long term sustainability. According to Elfina boss our company was chosen for this grant because of the robustness of our plans and strength of our team. We are confident that by working together we can achieve our mutual goal of universal access to financial services for Nigerians because we believe that with this grant our objectives will be even more achievable.
Cashless Nigeria Project, which the CBN is championing our service will directly integrate into the project and we are determined to help Nigeria get the benefits of the programme.
The idea of coverage of rural community with modern financial that you mentioned is a very valid and important to us, which is also the reason we are focusing on penetrating the rural areas with our services. We believe it is a gradual process because we are looking at reaching all segments of Nigerians across the country.
Again the concept of rural community is rather subjective because even in Lagos state you see rural people and those who need such financial services.
To get our services, you don’t need to sign on to us to use our services, but as long as you have a phone you can walk up to any of our agent and open a Paga account and automatically get linked.
You can transfer money to anybody from your Paga Account. As a matter of fact you can also transfer money to your bank account using your Paga account.
We are looking at engaging at least 40 agents in each LGA. In a place like Ikorodu in Lagos for instance you can still see rural dwellers that need financial services through the platform we are offering. It’s a huge opportunity that we are determined to exploit.
Zebulon Agomuo, Business Day Online
Paga, a financial services platform, has said it aimed at bringing financial services to over 40 million Nigerians by 2015, even as it received a $2 million grant from EFInA to develop and deliver low cost financial products through Paga’s nationwide agent network. Jay Alabraba, Paga co-founder and director of Sales & Business Development, disclosed to BusinessDay at the weekend.
Alabraba said EFInA chose to award the grant to Paga above a host of other applicants, as a result of the clarity of its planned initiative and track record in performance to date. EFInA, Alabraba explained, was an independent, professional and non-profit organisation funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID).
“The organisation was set up in late 2007 with a purpose to promote pro-poor financial sector development and financial inclusion in Nigeria,” he added.
The director of Sales & Business Development further explained that Paga, which enables Nigerians to transfer money to anyone via their mobile phones, Internet connected device, or at any agent in its nationwide network of agents, won the award following a highly competitive and rigorous application process that spanned several months, including thorough checks on both the status of the business and viability of its long term potential.
Explaining the new offerings and innovation Paga brings to the financial services sector, he said, “Our low cost financial offering, delivered via our agent network, is yet another example of innovation at Paga – a home-grown company.
Through our banking, insurance and microfinance partners, we will bring savings, loans and insurance to those that need it the most in a manner that is both simple to use and easy to understand.
Delivering more services at the agent point also improves the viability of the Paga agent network as it means additional revenue streams for our agents.” Justifying the choice of Paga for the grant, Modupe Ladipo, executive director and managing director for EFInA, said,
“We have chosen Paga for this grant because of the robustness of their plans and strength of their team. We are confident that by working together we can achieve our mutual goal of universal access to financial services for Nigerians.
“With over 59 million unbanked adults, finding new ways of reaching out to this market and bringing low cost financial services is a major challenge we aim to address.
By bringing low cost services to every neighbourhood we believe we can help bring a large number of Nigerians out of poverty and improve living standards.
By Alexander Chiejina, Business Day Online
As mobile banking involves person-to-person payment through the mobile phone or the use of mobile phones to conduct financial transactions, this latest electronic banking innovation is gradually changing the lives of millions across the globe.
This mechanism requires delivery of mobile payment to the banking and non-banking community, with the overriding vision of achieving a nationally utilised and internationally recognised payment systems.
Currently, First Bank of Nigeria, UBA/Afripay, GTBank, MobileMoney, Stanbic IBTC, and Ecobank has licenses to partner telecommunications companies to bring about the desired mobile banking. Others are Fortis MFB, Pagatech, Paycom, Chams, E-Tranzact, FET (Funds Electronic Transfer), Monitiz, Parkway, Corporeti Services, Eartholeum, and M-Kudi.
Their efforts are expected to expand and deepen formal banking in Nigeria by drawing the unbanked or under-banked into the formal financial services sector, while enabling the economy to shift to more efficient and reliable modes of financial transactions.
For a country with an estimated population of over 150 million and which has less than 22 million bank accounts, the development impacts negatively on the country’s economic growth and development as access to financial services, and overall financial development remains crucial to economic growth and poverty reduction.
Furthermore, lack of access to formal financial services limits market exchanges, increases risk and limits opportunities to save. Without formal financial services, households have to rely on informal services that are associated with high transaction costs. Thus, increasing access to formal financial services to the majority of households remains an important policy goal, not just in Nigeria, but in all emerging markets.
Even as Nigerians continue to express doubts over the country’s readiness for a cashless economy due to the unavailability of requisite infrastructure and low literacy levels, others have also argued that ongoing reforms have generated ample momentum to leverage on all forms of e-payment, especially mobile payment to enhance financial inclusion and facilitate Nigeria’s transformation from cash-based to a cashless economy.
Mitchell Elegbe, Interswitch Group’s CEO and managing director, disclosed that there is no alternative to cashless policy if the economy is to achieve its desired aim of being among the top 20 economies by the year 2020.
Elegbe reiterated that the high unbanked situation poses a challenge to the policy, while calling for democratisation of the policy to enable majority of Nigerians use it, particularly mobile banking. The need for different types of cards either for debit or credit, according to him, is necessary for the success of the policy.
Obinna Abajue, Head, Personal and Business Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, during a recent Mobile Money Roundtable, argued that the adoption of mobile money services in Nigeria would enhance economic planning by unraveling the country’s actual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) matrix, with a reduction in the cost of cash handling as well as cost of funds, besides being convenient and secure.
Abajue stated that “Government and banks have been at the forefront of efforts seeking to channel the huge funds in the informal sector through the formal banking system to bolster economic development. Mobile money will fast track this harmonisation and identify economically active people previously in the shadows of the huge informal cash economy, enabling them to have access to credit facilities.”
“Mobile money,” he stressed, “will bring about transparency, improved remittances and economic activities across various sectors of the economy, both in urban and rural areas. To achieve this, it is imperative for the regulators, licensed operators and other stakeholders to embark on an awareness campaign to educate Nigerians about the benefits of mobile money. This will drive its acceptance, and subsequently unravel its enormous benefits to the economy.”
Across Africa, mobile banking is projected to become a $22 billion industry by 2015, according to Juniper Research, a consultancy outfit, buoyed by soaring cell-phone use and growing financial services demand. Meanwhile, mobile network operators is expected to earn $7.8billion in direct and indirect revenues from serving a projected 364 million low income, unbanked people in about 147 countries who are projected to use financial services by 2012.
Valentine Obi, managing director, E-Transact International Limited, disclosed that Nigeria should take a cue from Europe if the country hopes to maximise benefits derivable from e-payment, while anchoring his position on the enormous opportunities embedded in the huge customer base which a cashless economy engenders.
“It reduces cost of operation; it increases customer satisfaction because you can render personalised services. When transactions are electronic, they are easier to track and document. For government, it helps in the area of taxation, budgeting, planning, accountability and improved government services. All payments are made easier with mobile payment system,” he stated.
“For instance, you can pay your utility bills through your mobile phone. With PHCN top up system of electricity payment, it is going to be a lot easier in a couple of months when you can actually pick up your mobile phone and pay for electricity bills especially for those using top up meter,” he stated.
Other services to be powered through this platform include accounts information and updates, alerts, bill payments, person-to-person transactions and remittances. In addition, even people without formal identification documents are availed basic services just by providing a name and a phone number.
At the moment, Africa boasts of the world’s most successful mobile payment system. Though mobile money was first introduced in the Philippines in 2001, Kenya’s M-Pesa continues to be the most successful mobile money deployment globally with over 700 million domestic and international money transfer transactions, accounting for $130 million revenues in 2010 financial year. A joint venture between Vodafone and Safaricom, M-Pesa transformed Kenya’s entire economic system.
Its pervasiveness and wide acceptance has made Safaricom the biggest mobile money operator in East Africa.
Today, the service provides mobile banking facilities to more than 70percent of the country’s adult population (14 million people) that use their mobile phones to pay taxi fares, wages of field workers, utility bills, get money out of ATMs without owning an ATM card or a traditional bank account.
Nigeria, with an estimated population of over 150 million people, over 20 million bank accounts and almost 90 million mobile phone subscribers is on the threshold of deploying mobile money with the potential to become Africa’s biggest mobile money market, in spite of late adoption of mobile business.
No doubt, financial inclusion and cashless settlements in all transactions will definitely play a significant role in shaping Nigeria’s economy in the near future.
In line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s drive towards making Nigeria a cashless society, Diamond Bank has announced the signing of a formal partnership with the Central Bank licensed company Paga, to offer branchless financial services to Nigerian consumers.
According to statement by the bank, both organisations have been working together on this initiative for nearly two years.
The statement noted that the partnership will make it possible for Diamond Bank customers to link their bank accounts to their Paga accounts – permitting them to perform transactions on Paga directly from their bank account.
“Customers will be able to perform a variety of transactions including money transfers and bill payments. Over time Diamond Bank will leverage Paga’s agent network to offer its banking products to the un-banked,” the statement added.
The statement explained that the partnership will ultimately give Diamond Bank’s new and existing customers additional choice and access to the bank, adding that by linking their bank account to the Paga electronic wallet, customers will be able to move their money between the two systems freely and easily through their mobile phones.
“This will enable them to send payments around the country, pay their bills, buy airtime for their mobile phones and make use of the large numbers of Paga agents situated around the country,” the statement noted.
Speaking on the partnership, Dr Alex Otti, Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank, remarked “Diamond Bank is committed to delivering excellent banking services to its customers as well as devising new ways of reaching new customers. Expanding the reach of formal banking is vital to our long-term strategy and in due course Paga will allow us to reach a new segment of the population.”
Also commenting on the partnership, Mr Tayo Oviosu, Founder and CEO of Paga said “Paga aims to work with strong Banks and Microfinance Institutions who share our mission of bringing affordable financial services to the un-banked.
Diamond Bank is a leader in retail banking and has been very innovative in thinking how to extend banking services to the un-banked. This partnership and others we will forge will help us achieve our goals and bring banking to the door step of every Nigerian.”
Mr. Garry Marsh, Senior Advisor Retail & Private Banking of Diamond Bank remarked “We have been on this journey with Paga for well over a year now.
The selection of Paga is a result of the company consistently executing on its plans and proving to our team that not only do they have a robust platform but they are able to deliver. We look forward to working with Paga over the coming months and years, bringing financial services to the un-banked.”
Mr. Jay Alabraba, Paga Co-founder and Director of Sales & Business Development, added: “With over 59 million un-banked adults in Nigeria, finding new ways of reaching out to this market is a major challenge for Banks. There needs to be new ways of thinking and innovation in the banking sector.
Diamond Bank is definitely ahead of the game in finding new ways of reaching customers. We applaud Diamond Bank for taking the bold first step towards delivering branchless financial services to the un-banked.”
Paga works on the most basic SMS enabled phones and on all mobile networks, so users have the liberty to access their Paga account regardless of what handset or mobile network they use. Even more, recipients do not need to register on Paga in order to collect cash sent to them – they can simply visit a Paga agent and shortly – any Diamond bank branch or ATM to get their cash.
Adding Paga to its existing services is further evidence of Diamond Bank’s approach to Retail and Consumer Banking. “We believe in innovation. We believe in adding value to the lives of our customers. We believe in giving our customers choice.
All of these things have been clearly exhibited through the years in our Credit Card offerings; our MSME and Xclusive Banking propositions and in our Savings products,” noted Garry Marsh.
This new partnership adds further value and supplements the service delivery channels already available to Diamond Bank customers with 220 branches around the country, 250 ATMs, internet and mobile banking services as well as a contact centre which is available 24/7.
By Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen, Daily Trust
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in order to achieve its cashless policy for the country, recently licensed some operators to deliver the mobile money services in Nigeria. In this interview with Mr Tayo Oviosu, the Chief Executive Officer of Pagatech, a mobile payment service provider, he explained how the adoption of this mode of transaction would benefit Nigerians.
What is Mobile Money?
It is a popular method of banking that fits in well with a busy, technologically oriented lifestyle. It might also be referred to as Mobile-banking or Mobile Payment (M-banking or M-payment). The amount of banking one is able to do on his mobile phone varies depending on the banking institution in use. Some banks offer only the option of messages sent to mobile phones that sound the alert of activity on an account such as deposits, withdrawals, and ATM. The newest technology is that Nigeria is at the threshold of Mobile Money Transfer and Payment (MMTP). Today, many Nigerians use informal methods to transfer money to friends and family. This method presents several risks and often money is lost along the way. Mobile payment would change the way consumers interact with financial services and make payments. Financial services under this platform include consumer accounts information, updates, alerts, bill payments, person to person transactions and remittances. Mobile payment revolution is currently sweeping across the African continent and Nigeria shouldn’t be out of the modern and global trend in enjoying such initiatives by adopting technological practices that make lives easier. Mobile Money Africa is actively leading the trail in opening up sector all over Africa by providing media, event, news and education in the emerging sector. The training event would empower potential agents to understand how mobile payment works, their role and benefits as a business venture in the emerging industry.
How do you think mobile money can impact on the social economic development of the country?
The mobile payment industry will play a huge role in the development of the Nigerian economy. In 10 years, I believe it would have made strong strides in transforming lives by bringing innovative and universal access to financial services. Paga’s bottom up approach will empower the most underserved segments of our economy. Our services would have spread to those households that are poorer and less connected to the financial system. In addition, a key stumbling block in our economy is the ability to move money from the sender to the receiver. Since the creation of money, the ability to move it has been a fundamental cornerstone of economic activity. If we remove these impediments of moving money in Nigeria, I believe we will see an increase in economic activity. Bringing financial services to the masses is vital for the growth of Nigeria’s economy. Paga’s money transfer service is the first step on a journey that will bring relevant financial services to the doorsteps of millions of Nigerians.
The regulatory framework put together by the Central Bank has taken the best from various parts of the world where services similar to Paga are offered – India, Kenya, Philippines, South Africa, and United States layered on the Nigerian situation. To make sure the service is available to all Nigerians, even those that do not have formal identification documents, the CBN framework allows for anyone providing a name and a phone number to use the basic services of Paga. This simple consideration will provide a strong boost for financial inclusion in Nigeria.
By Bisi Olaleye, Daily Sun
Pagatech Limited, one of the operators issued full operating licence by the Central Bank of Nigeria recently, said it was poised to roll out secure money transfer services to Nigerians with a target to develop 30, 000 agents nationwide by 2015.
Pagatech is a company that will enable Nigerians to transfer money to anyone via their mobile phone or Internet-connected device, or by visiting any retail agent in Paga’s nationwide network.
The company founded in 2009, is a home-grown money transfer service with a mission to deliver innovative and universal access to financial services for all Africans.
According to the company, given the strong backing of investors and with strategic relationships across industry sectors in Nigeria, it would expand operations nationwide and ‘fundamentally change the way Nigerians think about moving cash.’
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pagatech, Mr. Tayo Oviosu, revealed that simplicity is the great innovation of the company.
“Pagatech is the simplest way for Nigerians to transfer money to anyone in any part of the country. You no longer need to travel with large sums, or give bus driver money to deliver to your family in rural areas .With Pagatech, one can simply go to any of our agents to either transfer money or do so by oneself using mobile phone or any Internet enabled device.”
The CEO also listed short messaging services (SMS), online, agents, mobile applications, interactive voice response (IVR) and unstructured supplementary data (USSD) as channels that the company would leverage on to make their services readily available.
Mr. Jay Alabraba, who is the co-founder and director of sales and business development, Pagatech, noted that the company worked in partnership with select banks, microfinance institutions and all mobile network operators in Nigeria. Adding that Pagatech will have customer care stores and experience centre that will not conflict with agents.
“We aim to have, at least, one Pagatech agent in every community and on every street corner in Nigeria and we are making great progress in building this robust network of agents,” he said, hinting that during the pilot period alone, over 250 retailers registered and were fully trained to become Paga agents.
He said the company currently has in excess of 4,000 qualified outlets in the immediate pipeline to start operations as it continues its nationwide expansion.
Pagatech’s Chief Technical Officer, Mr. Eric Chijioke, said Pagatech mobile money transfer platform had been built, using secure technology that fit into the lifestyle of Nigerians.
Today, many Nigerians use informal methods to transfer money to friends and family. This method presents several risks and often money is lost along the way. Pagatech will leverages the rapid penetration of mobile phones and the improved supporting infrastructure to deliver its service.
Speaking about his personal investment in Pagatech, Mr. Tim Draper, said “The world is going mobile and Africa is leading the way in terms of growth rates,” adding that an open platform such as Paga has the potential to simplify life for millions of people.
Pagatech was first launched in September 2009, to a close user group. Currently has 16,227 users, 250 agents, over 18,000 transactions and over N100 million in transaction volume.
By Emmanuel Chidiogo, Daily Times Nigeria
With the issuance of its full operating license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Paga, a financial services platform, is now set to offer all Nigerians an easy-to-use and secure money transfer service.
Paga enables Nigerians to transfer money to anyone via their mobile phone or Internet connected device, or by visiting any retail agent in the company’s nationwide network.
Paga, founded in 2009, is a home-grown money transfer service that aims to deliver innovative and universal access to financial services for all Africans. Backed by such investors as renowned venture capitalist, Tim Draper, and Goodwell West Africa, and with strategic relationships across industry sectors in Nigeria, the company’s objective is to change the way Nigerians think about moving cash.
“Simplicity is the great innovation of Paga,” said Tayo Oviosu, the company’s CEO. “Paga is the simplest way for Nigerians to transfer money to anyone in any part of the country. You no longer need to travel with large sums, or give a bus driver money to deliver to your family in the rural areas.
Now, with Paga, you simply go to any Paga agent to transfer the money or do so by yourself using your phone or Internet enabled device. You don’t need a SIM swap, you don’t need a special phone, you don’t even need to download an application – all you need is a handset that can send text messages. If you can send a text message, you can use Paga. The simplicity of Paga and ubiquity we achieve via our agent network will deliver the convenience that people want and deserve. Paga will change lives for the better.”
According to Jay Alabraba, Paga Co-founder and Director of Sales & Business Development, the company works in partnership with selected banks, microfinance institutions, and all mobile network operators in Nigeria. “We aim to have at least one Paga agent in every community and on every street corner in Nigeria, and we are making great progress in building this robust network of agents,” he said.
Speaking about his investment in Paga, Tim Draper, who is known for his involvement in such successful ventures as Skype, Baidu, and Hotmail, said: “The world is going mobile and Africa is leading the way in terms of growth rates. What I love about Paga is that the service is available to everyone, either at the agent or via their mobile phone. It also works on all mobile networks. An open platform such as this has the potential to simplify life for millions and millions of people. It also makes Paga an attractive partner for banks, telecom companies and other organizations as they explore opportunities to bring value to consumers even beyond the basic financial services.”