Financial Services for All
Lagos, Nigeria, November 28, 2016 /3BL Media/ – 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.
Launched in 2008, the Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$8 per day in purchasing power as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
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’.
According to Paga CEO Tayo Oviosu, “A critical factor to inclusive growth is access to finance and convenient payment systems. What we are doing at Paga is changing the delivery of financial services and making it much more accessible to everyone. In so doing we are also creating an army of entrepreneurs and jobs across Nigeria. It is very exciting. While we have started in Nigeria, our vision is pan-African.”
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.
“The backbone of a thriving economy is financial inclusion,” said Paula Peleaz, Programme Manager of the BCtA. “Paga is expanding access to financial services in remote rural areas while strengthening local businesses. We are pleased to welcome this pioneering company to the Business Call to Action.”
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.
For further information:
Business Call to Action: Tatiana Bessarabova at firstname.lastname@example.org
Paga: Efe Uduigwomen at email@example.com
Membership in the Business Call to Action does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.
About the Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, the Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat. For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.
About Paga: The company was founded in 2009 with the simple belief that mobile technology can be leveraged to bring financial services to all Africans – especially those without access to traditional banks. Paga aims to accomplish this mission by working in partnership with banks, microfinance institutions and mobile network operators. Its innovative platform enables customers to make payments and carry out other financial transactions through both an online network and local agents – supporting the livelihoods of small entrepreneurs. The company strives to develop technology that is suited to the local markets in which it operates and that enables it to make financial services affordable for all. In addition to money transfers, Paga’s services include airtime credits, bill payments and retail payments. For more information about Paga and its innovative financial services technologies, visit www.mypaga.com.