Nigerian payment and mobile money startup, Paga partners Visa to leverage the global payments processor‘s network for its users. The partnership allows Paga account holders to transact on Visa’s global network. It also allows Paga to onboard new payment options to the platform.
This partnership comes as Visa is starting to pay more attention to the African fintech startup ecosystem, with partnerships and stake owning.
With over 10 million users on the continent, Paga has continued to expand its network of financial services for users across Africa. The platform allows users to make payment transactions including transfer of money, payment of bills and items purchase. Services can be accessed through its mobile-app or its 24,840 agent network.
With this partnership, Paga is expected to launch QR codes and NFC (near-field Communication) into the Nigerian market as alternative ways of receiving payments to a debit card. Paga will also be partnering with Visa on technology. Already, Visa and Paga’s engineering teams have already started working together, and solutions will be rolled out in Q2 2020.
“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.”Otto Williams, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Fintech and Ventures for Africa, Visa.
This partnership comes on the back of Paga’s proposed expansion to Ethiopia and Mexico. For that purpose, it has commercially acquired its Ethiopian engineering partner, Apposit.
And although the partnership doesn’t include funding, it is not entirely ruled out as Otto Williams, Visa’s Head of Strategic Partnerships, Fintech and Ventures for Africa says such partnerships pave the way for venture investments.
Of recent, there’s been a lot of attention on African fintech startups, spurring partnerships and funding from global leaders in the space. Recently, Flutterwave partnered Worldpay and Alipay. Visa also bought a $200m stake in Interswitch, affirming the latter’s unicorn startup as it also partnered American Express.
As such, African fintech startups are beginning to play on the power of partnerships to stay ahead of their competitions, cut product time to market and expand into new markets and customer segments.
This significant move towards partnerships is not ending anytime soon. And one can only expect more of such as startups want to carve out an edge in the fintech space.