Nigerian based fintech, Paga has signed a partnership deal with global payment processor, Visa, to leverage on the latter’s network for its users.
This new arrangement allows Paga account holders enjoy new merchant options and be able to transact on Visa’s global network, and will also see both companies work together on technology.
Announcing the partnership in an official statement, Paga said, “Partnering with Visa is one step further in our global expansion plans. Now, all Paga account holders will have access to Visa credentials (physical and virtual cards) tied to their Paga accounts and thus the ability to transact anywhere in the world Visa is accepted.
“Together, we are also working to launch a number of innovative merchant acceptance solutions which range from QR codes and NFC for in-store merchant payments, online payments, and international remittances all processed through Visa’s network.”
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The partnership does not include Visa investing in Paga, but is expected to drive larger payment volumes for both companies, and help Visa expand in the African continent.
“We want to digitize cash, that’s a strategic priority for us. We want to expand merchant access to payment acceptance and we want to drive financial inclusion,” said Otto Williams, Visa’s Head of Strategic Partnerships, Fintech and Ventures for Africa.
Though founded in Nigeria, Paga has scaled its fintech business throughout West Africa, before targeting Ethiopia and Mexico. The company’s multi-channel network serves over 14 million users in Nigeria who transfer funds and pay merchants digitally through the app or any of the agents.
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The budding partnership will bring new merchant options to Paga’s network.
Speaking on the partnership, Tayo Oviosu, founder and CEO of the fintech company said, “We are excited to partner with Visa, a leader in payments globally, as they are constantly building world-class solutions for consumers and businesses. Our goals are well aligned. As we scale our wallet across emerging markets such as Nigeria, Mexico, and Ethiopia, partnering with Visa to give both consumers and businesses, who have been underserved, access to Visa’s global network made sense to us. Furthermore, it was clear to us in all our engagements the alignment of our goals towards solving the issues of cash, digitizing cash transactions and delivering financial services using new and innovative approaches. We are very happy to have signed a long-term relationship with Visa.”
Oviosu added that the engineering teams of both companies have started working together, and they expect to roll out the new options by second quarter of 2020.
This global collaboration will expand the range of offerings Paga delivers to consumers & merchants. It will also bring alternative payment methods for day to day transactions in all our markets!https://t.co/yCIMEoOT9f
— Tayo Oviosu (@oviosu) March 9, 2020
Paga, in January, acquired Apposit, an Ethiopian software development company, and has concluded plans to launch in East Africa, very soon. Ethiopia has a population of 114 million, second only to Nigeria. Paga has also opened an office in Mexico and will launch its payments products there this year.
With recent developments and partnerships, Paga is becoming less of a Nigerian centred company and more of an emerging global fintech platform.
As Oviosu told Techcrunch, “Our strategy is not an African strategy…We want to go where these problems exist in a large way and build a global payments business. There are several very large countries around the world in Africa, Latin America, Asia where these problems still exist.”
What you should know: Visa is an American based financial services company, which currently maintains multiple partnerships with Africa’s largest banks. Its recent 2020 Investor Day Presentation showed a strategy wrapped around partnerships with leading African players, and its recent partnerships appear to confirm this. Visa partnered with B2B payments company Flutterwave and South African startup Yoco, which targets enterprise payments services and hardware for SMEs.