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Paystack explains how it will use Truecaller to verify merchants

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Paystack, one of Nigeria’s leading payment gateways announced a partnership with Truecaller on Monday to help facilitate online payments across Africa.

According to a press release sent to Nairametrics, Paystack will use Truecaller’s database of verified phone numbers to authenticate payments for transaction executed on its platform. Paystack explains that its merchants can now verify their mobile identity via its platform.

It’s founder and CEO, Shola Akinlade remarked that the partnership is “able to guarantee that all businesses paid via Paystack are thoroughly checked for legitimacy and credibility. In a low-trust environment like Nigeria where many people are paying online for the first time, it’s important to deliver a safe, fraud-free experience, and this is a responsibility that Paystack takes extremely seriously.”

Trust and identity are snags to the mass utilization of online payment options such as Paystack in Nigeria and indeed the rest of Africa. For the company to increase its adoption rate, it requires its users to trust their merchants through verification with an application that they know and rely on.

Truecaller is widely used in Africa to verify callers, so it’s easy to see why Paystack is partnering with them. According to data from Truecaller, over 50 million Africans use their platform

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Paystack reports that nearly 20% of all online transactions in Nigeria is processed through Paystack, and the company powers payments for companies like Domino’s Pizza, Opera, Taxify, and Axa Mansard (one of Nigeria’s largest insurance companies).

A Y Combinator alum, Paystack was founded in 2015 by Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi, and is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. Investors include Tencent, Comcast Ventures, Singularity Investments, and Ventures Platform.

See the press release below;

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LAGOS, March 19th, 2018 – Paystack (paystack.com) has partnered with Truecaller (truecaller.com) to allow more merchants across Africa accept payments online in a frictionless and secure manner by leveraging Truecaller’s mobile identity product, Truecaller SDK. The partnership will also provide powerful tools that businesses and startups across Africa can use to verify the mobile identity of their customers, and in turn, further help in creating more trust in the online payments landscape on the continent.

Paystack is one of Nigeria’s largest payments startups, processing nearly 20% of all online transactions in Africa’s largest economy. The company (the first Nigerian startup to get into the celebrated Y Combinator Accelerator) aims to allow merchants in Africa accept payments from anyone, anywhere in the world.

Previously, all merchants who wanted to accept payments with Paystack had to be registered with various regulatory bodies. In Nigeria, where the vast majority of businesses are unregistered, the requirement to be registered prevented many legitimate offline businesses from realizing the benefits of online payments.

The Paystack-Truecaller partnership means that in addition to Paystack’s proprietary merchant risk assessment checks, merchants can now verify their mobile identity via  Truecaller. Integrating Truecaller’s mobile number identity product as a verification mechanism strengthens the Paystack platform’s merchant verification process and also makes it possible to open up Paystack to the millions of unregistered businesses who were previously unable to accept online payments with Paystack.

In the words of Paystack CEO, Shola Akinlade, “This partnership with Truecaller allows Paystack to deliver on our promise of trust as well as a frictionless experience. We want to be able to guarantee that all businesses paid via Paystack are thoroughly checked for legitimacy and credibility. In a low-trust environment like Nigeria where many people are paying online for the first time, it’s important to deliver a safe, fraud-free experience, and this is a responsibility that Paystack takes extremely seriously.”

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Shola adds: “We needed to balance the strong desire to open Paystack up to unregistered business against the equally strong obligation to protect the interests of customers. Customers need the firm assurance that every Paystack merchant they pay is a vetted business, and our partnership with Truecaller ensures that we can continue to be worthy of customers’ trust.”

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In addition to using Truecaller as part of the merchant verification flow, Paystack will also be introducing Truecaller as a verification option for local developers and startups who want to verify the identity of their own customers on Paystack’s developer platform.

Paystack already makes three verification options available to developers – the ability to verify the Bank Verification Number (BVN) of customers (BVN is an identifying number issued by Nigerian regulators), the ability to verify bank account details, and the ability to verify card details. Truecaller will be a fourth, new verification option, and the impact of this will be to create more trust in the payments flow for African businesses.

A typical use case would be a micro-lending app. In addition to their in-house customer verification steps and use of Paystack’s proprietary verification tools, the Paystack-Truecaller partnership now allows the makers of the lending app to verify the true identity of borrowers by their mobile identity, i.e. with their phone number.

Over 50 million Africans use Truecaller, and the app has helped Nigerian users block over 13 million calls and 25 million spam SMS, monthly. In November 2017, Truecaller announced plans to deepen the collaboration with the business, startup and developer ecosystem in Africa, and the partnership with Paystack represents a strong move towards helping African businesses leverage the power of Truecaller’s mobile identity platform.

Truecaller Head of Global Developer & Startup Relations, Priyam Bose, underscored the importance of this groundbreaking partnership: “Paystack is enabling the growth of a vibrant online payment ecosystem and the digitization of businesses for the Nigerian economy. Truecaller is excited to play a strong role in this vision by enabling tools that increase trust and enable frictionless payments across Africa, powered by Paystack.”

Paystack-Truecaller partnership at a glance

  • Unregistered local businesses can now receive online payments after being verified via Paystack’s in-house verification process, which now includes phone number identity verification powered by Truecaller
  • Businesses and developers receiving payments via Paystack can now build customer verification tools on top of Paystack’s Truecaller phone number verification API

Nairametrics is Nigeria's top business news and financial analysis website. We focus on providing resources that help small businesses and retail investors make better investing decisions. Nairametrics is updated daily by a team of professionals. Post updated as "Nairametrics" are published by our Editorial Board.

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Companies

Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc projects N60.13 million profit in Q1 2021

Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc has projected a Profit after Tax (PAT) of N60.13million in its 2021 Q1.

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Abbey Mortgage Bank announce the appointment of substantive Managing Director, and 5 Directors.

Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc has projected a Profit after Tax (PAT) of N60.13million in its 2021 Q1.

According to the earnings forecast issued by the bank and seen by Nairametrics, it projected the 134.7% Q-o-Q rise from a loss of N173.49 million recorded in its most audited financial statement for Q3, 2020.

key highlights of its earnings forecast for Q1 2021 when compared with Q3 2020 figures include;

  • Pre-tax profit increased to N88.4 million, +151.5% Q-o-Q.
  • Interest income increased to approximately N515.9 million, +55.45% Q-o-Q.
  • Net operating income increased to N421.94 million, +79.9% Q-o-Q.
  • Interest expense increased to N208.06 million, +63.95% Q-o-Q.
  • Operating expenses declined to N333.52 million, -17.9% Q-o-Q.
  • Credit loss expense increased to N19.83 million, +100% Q-o-Q
  • Gross earnings of N649.83 million
  • Taxation of N28.3 million
  • Other income of N133.84 million.

Bottom line

Despite recording not too impressive results in its last financial statements, the firm is, however, optimistic going for Q1 2021 as reflected in its forecast.

This optimism might be premised on the news of a positive general economy by Q1 2021, which will trickle down to various sub-sectors of the economy.

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Economy & Politics

Nigeria needs $3trillion in 30 years to reduce infrastructure deficit – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stated that Nigeria will need $3trillion in the next 30 years to reduce its infrastructural deficit.

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Solar, FG to slash import duties on tractors, buses, others in 2020 Finance Bill, Nigeria will not issue Eurobonds, says Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, FG guarantees mortgage loan to low income buyers at low interest rate, FG inaugurates gold refinery project in a landmark event

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has said Nigeria will need $3trillion in the next 30 years to reduce its infrastructural deficit.

He disclosed this while featuring at a webinar organized by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

Osinbajo told the webinar that Nigeria needs to adopt new models of investments for infrastructural developments because relying on public expenditure alone is not sustainable.

READ: How digital transformation will impact Nigeria’s projected $8.79 billion economic expansion

The seminar discussed the roles of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in developing Nigerian infrastructure. The Vice President said Nigeria still face a huge infrastructural deficit, despite government investment which is a roadblock to rapid economic growth.

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The Federal Government recognizes this fact, which is why we are considering other approaches to complement and boost financing for the development and maintenance of infrastructure in Nigeria.

READ: Nigeria’s Broadband subscriptions peak at 82.7m – Prof. Danbatta

“It is clear that this deficit can only be made up by private investment. Private sector is 92 per cent of GDP, while the public sector is mere 8 per cent. So, the synergy between the public and private sector through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) is really the realistic solution.

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“The fact that only N2.49 trillion was appropriated for capital expenditure in 2020, reflects the importance of deliberate and pragmatic action to boost infrastructural spending.

READ: #EndSARS: Infrastructure and Works, Education, 3 others are prioritised in Lagos’ 2021 budget

“It seems to me to be quite clear that the financial outlay and management capability required for infrastructural development and service delivery outstrip the financial and technical resources available to government.

“In other words, the traditional method of building infrastructure through budgetary allocations is inadequate and set to become harder because of increasingly limited fiscal space,” he said.

READ: FEC okays FMBN’s request to purchase banking application software for N487.39 million

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He revealed that the FG has launched a series of PPP’s to enable Nigeria meet its infrastructure deficit needs, citing the roles of agencies like the BPE with PPP’s.

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The Federal Government has recently issued a circular on the administration of PPP projects in the country to provide the much-needed clarity.

READ: AfDB to support FERMA with $10 billion for roads, others 

“The circular re-emphasises that the BPE shall be responsible for the concession of public enterprises and infrastructure already listed in the First and Second Schedules of the Public Enterprises Act.

“The circular equally stipulates that the BPE shall act on behalf of the Federal Government, as the counterparty on all infrastructure projects being developed on a PPP basis,” he said.

READ: CBN launches Private Sector-led Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme

He disclosed that the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) would continue to act as the regulatory agency for PPP transactions, with directives including inspections and monitoring PPP projects.

“It is expected that this new policy direction would provide clarity to stakeholders and foster the improvement of PPP programmes in the country.

“Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as the multilateral agencies and our development partners are urged to support the PPP policy objectives and institutional arrangements already put up by government,” he said.

READ: FG says vehicle owners to pay N250,000 to convert from petrol to autogas

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What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported last month that Moody Investors Services revealed that Nigeria needs to spend about $3 trillion in over 30 years to bridge the infrastructural gap experienced in the country.
  • The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, revealed that the Federal Government needs at least N500 billion annually for the next 3 years to develop and fix its 35,000 kilometres road network, as work continues on 13,000 kilometres of the network.
  • Nairametrics also reported last month that the FG approved the establishment of an infrastructure company that will be wholly focused on critical infrastructural investments in the country.

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Tech News

Stripe plans corporate banking services for merchants, vendors

Stripe Inc is partnering with American elite banks in offering corporate-banking services to its merchants and vendors.

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Stripe plans corporate banking services for merchants, vendors

Stripe Inc, one of the most valuable start-ups on this planet, is partnering with American elite banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. in offering corporate-banking services.

This is as the fast-rising startup, known for simplifying payment, seeks to diversify its business offering, amid a competitive ecosystem that includes PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Adyen.

READ: MainOne Cable: A decade-old journey to bridging the digital divide in West Africa

What this means

Stripe, best known for handling millions of online businesses and e-commerce web pages, will soon start offering some of its client’s interest yielding bank accounts, debit cards, and other cash-management services, according to a report credited to WSJ.

However, these service offerings listed are for its merchants and vendors that do business with Stripe.

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READ: Edlyft raises over $1.4 million venture capital during pandemic

  • Recall Nairametrics revealed how Stripe had raised $600 million to invest and acquire payments companies in developing nations. It disclosed that Nigerian startup, Paystack, had been on Stripe’s bucket list for a while since 2018 when Stripe led an $8 million funding round for it.
  •  Stripe acquired Paystack for an undisclosed deal believed to be worth over $200 million, making it the biggest fintech startup acquisition to date to come out of Nigeria, as well as Stripe’s biggest acquisition to date.

READ: America’s biggest food delivery app, DoorDash seeks for IPO approval

Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, spoke on the company’s strategy at the time it acquired Paystack. He said:

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“Stripe thinks on a longer time horizon than others, because we are an infrastructure company. We are thinking of what the world will look like in 2040-2050.”

He added that Stripe also planned to understand the ecosystem and keep its eyes open so it would see where help was needed, as the company did not tie up its investments into “complicated strategic investments.”

READ: Kaduna Inland Dry Port woos more partners with better service delivery ahead of 2021

READ: Nigeria owes foreign airlines $53 million as proceeds from ticket sales – IATA

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