Why Nigeria’s Paga Is Succeeding Where Others Mobile Money Providers Have Failed

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Written by Kevin Mwanza

Paga, the biggest  mobile money service provider in Nigeria, plans to increase its agents across the nation to 30,000 by 2018 as it seeks to become the county’s largest mobile financial access points across Africa’s most populous nation.

The mobile money services provider, which was founded in 2012, currently has 10,104 agents in 35 states across Nigeria, with 3,000 in the commercial city of Lagos.

Increasing the agent numbers is one of the major ways through which the mobile money provider is using in efforts to become the industry giant.

“The big message is that we want to focus people’s minds on Paga as a payment platform,” Balancing-act-africa quoted Tayo Oviosu, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Paga.

Paga recently signed a deal with Nigerian Postal Service to have its agents in every postal office across the nation.

The deal is part of reducing the nation’s huge population that has no access to banking services through tapping into the vast population with access to mobile phones.

At least half of Paga’s subscribers have access to banking services.

The mobile money provider will also provide payroll services to Small & Medium Enterprises and extend credit to merchants, enabling them to collect payments from anybody.

Oviosu however acknowledged that this will take time and a shift in mentality because most Nigerians still prefer on cash transactions.

Paga’s rival, eTranzact is already considering a partnership with the state postal agency before the close of the year, PUNCH reported.

The nation has about 20 percent of her 170 million people with access to banking services, representing a huge market potential for Paga and its rivals.

Currently, Paga has 4,961,761 subscribers in Nigeria and at least 900,000 active users. Its closest competitors are First Monie (First Bank) that has at least two million subscribers and eTranzact (Pocket Moni).

Nigeria has two other major competitors to Paga in the mobile money service provision.  In total, the nation has 21 players in mobile money services, but majority are operating in small scale.

In January, Uber a taxi hailing company partnered with the mobile money services provider in an effort to tap into the nation’s vast market by enabling customers to pay for the taxi services through their Paga accounts, African Business Central reported.

Paga is experiencing fast growth and recorded $800 million worth in transactions between July 2015 and July this year, an increase from $1 billion recorded since its launch to June 2015.