Lagos/ Hilversum, May 5th 2011 – Goodwell West Africa, a microfinance investment vehicle co-managed by investment manager Goodwell Investments and Alitheia Capital in Nigeria, announces today its investment in Paga – a mobile payments company based in Lagos Nigeria.
Today, DStv and Paga announce an exclusive partnership with respect to mobile payment of DStv subscriptions. DStv is the leading provider of multi-channel pay television in Africa. Paga is a pioneering mobile money platform licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Paga launched in February 2011 with four products to meet the unique needs of Nigeria: money transfer to any Nigerian with a mobile phone, bill payments, mobile phone airtime top-up, and merchant payments.
Today, Paga announces an investment in the company by Tim Draper, a well known Venture Capitalist based in the United States. Paga, the pioneering mobile money platform in Nigeria, launched in February 2011 after receiving approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The company’s initial set of products are delivered to meet critical needs of the Nigerian public: ability to transfer money fast and reliably, pay bills, top-up airtime or pay merchants safely. Paga delivers these services via the mobile phone and internet.
Today, Paga announces the signing of an alliance agreement with InterSwitch. With this alliance, Paga will deliver easy, safe, and secure mobile payment options for existing bank customers and millions of unbanked people across the country. Verve and MasterCard cardholders can use their cards to fund Paga accounts, thereby having access to Paga's innovative set of services, including money transfer to anyone with a mobile phone in Nigeria, airtime top-up services, electronic payment to a vast number of billers, and payments to merchants via the mobile phone.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has licensed Paga to launch its unique mobile money service in Nigeria.
As part of the Financial Times "Nigeria at 50" series, the Telecoms report focuses on how mobiles may be the future of banking in Nigeria. They feature Pagatech in the report.
You can read it here
The last paragraph, which refers to Pagatech's founders inspiration, tells the story of why we believe we can truly reach the uneducated and the base of the pyramid:
Mobile money is new to most people - indeed it will be to the majority of Nigerians. Developing trust in mobile money is going to be key to adoption. Users will rightfully ask "is my money safe?" and "what happens if the mobile money scheme fails?" These are all valid questions that must be addressed by regulators and mobile money operators.
The growth of mobile phone usage in Africa has indeed been unprecedented. In 2003 only 5% of Africans had a mobile phone; by the end of 2008 mobile phone penetration in Africa was 30%! Today, more people in Africa have a mobile phone than a bank account. This simple fact has led to an increasing focus on the use of the mobile phone as the primary means of electronic payments on a continent where people do not have the most basic financial access, talk less of cashless options like debit or credit cards.