Empowering local entrepreneurs to provide payments and digital financial services to Nigerians
Nigeria-based Paga has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a pledge to expand its network of local entrepreneur agents to 40,000 across the country in order to serve 22 million customers by 2018. By that same year, the company aims to extend its savings and credit products to 5 million people across Nigeria.
Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria is a huge potential market for financial services, yet inequality, internal strife and economic instability have hampered access to these services – especially in rural areas. Despite the country’s oil resources, nearly nine in ten Nigerians live below the poverty line, with income, education and the urban-rural divide the biggest barriers to financial inclusion.
Paga is seeking to harness innovation in order to deliver universal access to financial services in Nigeria and beyond. Paga’s Founder and CEO, Tayo Oviosu, started the company out of his personal frustration of always having to carry cash around in his pocket.
In line with his company’s mission to provide all Nigerians with financial access, Paga’s inclusive business model enables customers without bank accounts to pay bills, transfer money and undertake other financial transactions online or through a network of local agents for a minimal fee. The company promises its customers that, ‘Your cash is safe; We protect your privacy; We will resolve all issues in 48 hours; and There are no hidden fees’.
Paga’s 10,500 local agents make up the largest network of financial access points in Nigeria. These agents are small entrepreneurs who offer Paga services within their grocery stores, boutiques, pharmacies, etc. They enable customers to withdraw or deposit cash, transfer money and pay their utility and household bills through the Paga platform. In rural areas without bank branches, Paga’s entrepreneur agents have become people’s sole access points for these critical services.
To date, Paga has processed 27 million transactions worth over US$1.7 billion combined. It aims to expand its agent network to 40,000 across Nigeria by 2018, connecting even more remote areas with financial services while supporting tens of thousands of small businesses.
In the coming year Paga will continue its focus on scaling its agent network while pursuing its strategy to provide digital savings and credit services through its expanding network of local agents.