Financial inclusion is one of the biggest issues Nigeria is facing today. But many startups have been developing quite a lot innovative financial products to address this. One of such products is PayCentre Africa.
PayCentre is a product developed by fintech company, E-Settlement Limited. The product helps to provide financial access to the underbanked and underserved section of Nigeria. Using a network of agents across the country, PayCentre is able to reach more people and provide interesting financial services. This sounds eerily similar to Paga, which also has agents across the country.
PayCentre describes itself as an “agency banking solution.”
Working with these agents, people can make cash withdrawals, transfer funds and deposit cash anywhere in the country. PayCentre also allows for banking hall activities like ATM card issuance, card activation, and loan processing.
Agents are also relatively accessible, and there are no limits to the number of transactions that can be made. But cash transactions are restricted to N30,000 at a time, while funds transfer is capped at N100,000.
Founded in 2016, the service is wholly owned by E-Settlement Limited, a Nigerian financial technology company. E-Settlement also owns financial products like PayPad and CashEnvoy, the payment processor.
According to Olaoluwa Awojoodu, CEO of E-Settlement Ltd, PayCentre’s agency banking approach is the best way to reach more people.
“With under 6,000 bank branches in the whole country and less than 20,000 ATM machines, 70% of which are in Lagos, it is difficult to serve a population of almost 200 million people mostly living in the rural areas,” he said in 2018.
To this end, PayCentre has been quite busy recently. It is co-opting new agents and holding several trainings across the country in a bid to spread to more locations. Agents are required to make a N14,000 payment during registration.
Today, PayCentre is E-Settlement’s biggest business. Since arriving on the scene in 2016, the service is now present in 24 states and has 1,300 agents according to 2018 stats.
According to Olaoluwa, PayCentre has processed an increasing number of transactions each year since 2016. In 2016, E-Settlement said it processed over N3 billion worth of transactions. But that number has since grown to N20 billion in 2017, and later to at least N60 billion in 2018.
It looks like Paga has some serious competition.
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