VISA PARTNERS WITH PAGA FOR AFRICA AND BEYOND BASED ON PAYMENT AND FINTECH
Emerging reports in this space prove Visa partners with Lagos-based fintech startup Paga on the basis of payment and technological application. The Lagos-based startup Paga, having scaled its platform business in West Africa, expanded to Mexico and Ethiopia.
Paga which at the moment boast’s of millions of customers in Nigeria has entered into a partnership with Visa, an agreement that will allow account holders on Paga platform make their transaction through Visa’s global network, and in the same vein, will see both companies work as a team in the area of technology.
At the moment, the subject startup Paga serves over 14 million customers in Nigeria on the basis of money transfer, payment of bills and buying of items via its digital platform (mobile-app) or through its 24,840 agents.
According to an analyst, the partnership could be viewed as a strategy by the American financial services to expand in the continent of Africa by working with Africa’s top startups. Though, Visa’s collaboration with Paga practically excludes investment in the startup but is expected to drive a larger volume of Visa’s core priority in Africa.
Responding to this development (Visa partners), Visa’s Head of Strategic Partnerships, Fintech and Ventures for Africa ‘Otto Williams’ made it clear that, “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”.
While on the other hand, a new transaction option which would mean an alternative way for receiving payment is expected to be rolled out in Nigeria perhaps in the second quarter of 2020. This is based on the fact that Paga and Visa engineers have already begun the process, however, Paga CEO ‘Oviosu’ said:
“Based on the partnership we are going to launch QR codes and NFC into the market in Nigeria – alternative ways of receiving payments than bringing out a physical card”.
In a bid to launch its (Paga) office in Ethiopia as an emerging markets fintech platform, the company in January acquired Ethiopian software development company Apposit and has also opened an office in Mexico, though yet to launch its payments products in Mexico.
Oviosu had also noted that there are several countries in the world faced with financial problems, but, stress on the company’s strategy. “Our strategy is not an African strategy” but anywhere were these problems exist in a large way.
From a broader perspective, Visa has continued to maintain multiple partnerships with Africa’s largest banks, while collaborating with Africa’s Venture Capital-backed fintech has emerged its priority. This was confirmed in the company’s 2020 Investor Day presentation, pointing at Visa “partnering with leading African players” in the startup space.
Visa partnering with Paga isn’t the company’s first, but a move which sees Visa as a company that has suddenly jumped into the African venture funding realm. Based on this, Visa has collaborated with several African fintech ventures such as South African startup Yoco and business-to-business payment company Flutterwave. Meanwhile, non-equity collaborations will remain the company’s core focus, but could still lead to Venture Capital in the future.
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