Nigerian Fintech Paga Surpasses N14 Trillion in Transactions

Paga, a leading Nigerian fintech licensed as a mobile money operator, announced that it has processed transactions worth N14 trillion over the last 15 years. The company’s founder and CEO, Tayo Oviosu, revealed this milestone during an event in Lagos on Thursday, celebrating Paga’s 15th anniversary. He noted that 80% of the transactions were recorded in the last five years, reflecting the growing adoption of mobile money in Nigeria.

Paga’s success is part of a broader trend in Nigeria’s financial landscape. Recent data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) showed that mobile money operators, including Paga, Opay, and Palmpay, processed transactions totalling N17.2 trillion between January and March this year. These figures underscore the rapid growth of mobile money services and their significant role in Nigeria’s economy.

Economic Impact and Job Creation

Oviosu emphasised the positive impact Paga has had on Nigeria’s economy through job creation. According to him, the company has created 1,000 direct jobs and over 100,000 indirect jobs through its extensive network of agents across the country. This expansion has also facilitated new opportunities for businesses and consumers.

Paga has evolved from a basic mobile money platform to offering platform-as-a-service (PaaS), serving 150 businesses. The company’s consumer base has grown to 23 million users, with over 335 million transactions processed since its inception, amounting to N14 trillion or $32 billion. Oviosu highlighted that the last quarter was the best in the company’s history, demonstrating the sustained growth of the business.

Competitive Landscape and Opportunities

The Nigerian fintech market is highly competitive, with numerous players vying for market share. Oviosu acknowledged the competitiveness but also saw it as an opportunity for growth and innovation. He noted that the regulatory environment has provided clear categorisation, attracting more competitors to the market. However, he emphasised that there’s room for various players to carve out their niches and acquire customers.

“The Nigerian market is similar to India’s. I don’t think it’s a winner-takes-all because most Nigerians have multiple financial accounts. There’s always room for choice, and it’s about finding the one that suits you best,” Oviosu said.

Challenges and Early Struggles

Oviosu also discussed the challenges Paga faced during its early years. The lack of a supportive tech ecosystem and angel investors made it difficult to secure funding when the business was starting. “When I started Paga, there was no tech ecosystem because nobody was doing anything at that time. You had to pitch the story of Nigeria to investors, which was hard due to macroeconomic issues,” he explained.

Despite these initial hurdles, Paga’s continued growth and success demonstrate the resilience and potential of Nigeria’s fintech sector. With further investment and innovation, the industry is poised for even greater achievements in the coming years.

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