When Tayo Oviosu started Paga in 2009 he already realized that a lot of Nigerians do not own bank accounts. On a personal level he also was frustrated with moving large sums of money around, and the inherent risks and inconvenience of the process. With practically everyone in Nigeria owning a mobile he bet this could be leveraged to bring financial services to all Africans. This became the business model for his new company.
Today, Paga has about 6.5 million users and a vast network of 12,000 agents spread across Nigeria. But as huge as the number is, Oviosu’s dream is far bigger. His vision is to continue to tap into Nigeria’s huge number of mobile phone users which, according to data published by the Nigerian Communication Commission in May 2017, stands at 145.35 million.
[tweet_box]“A core objective for us at Paga is to bank more than 70 million unbanked Nigerians,” @oviosu [/tweet_box]
Beyond that, Oviosu is positive that Nigeria is ready for a full transition to digital payment, which will see a massive growth in the person-to-person payment system. And in his opinion, the growth will be more organic as more people seek out more convenient ways of sending funds.
“Nigerian person-to-person transfers will be the next growth,” he said with an air of assurance.
This presents an opportunity for companies whose solutions can meet the needs of consumers. And Oviosu says Paga is ready for the windfall and will leverage digital platforms and its network of agents to provide people with a platform through which they can send money from any store of cash to anyone, anytime regardless of whether they use “dumb phone, smartphone, smartwatch or visit their neighbourhood agent.”