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Visa expands African presence with Nigerian fintech partnership

By Ramla Soni

The new partnership will allow Paga account holders to make global transactions on the Visa network

Tayo Ovios, CEO of Paga

Visa has partnered with African startup Paga on payments and technology.

Based and founded in Lagos, Paga scaled its fintech business in West Africa, before expanding in Ethiopia and Mexico. It now deals with more than 14 million Nigerian customers, offering services such as money transfer, bill payment and digital purchase through its mobile-app.

The new partnership will allow Paga account holders to make global transactions on the Visa network. Visa has not invested capital in the startup.

“We want to digitise 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, Visa’s head of strategic partnerships, fintech and ventures for Africa said.

Through this partnership, Visa said it is going to launch alternative ways of receiving payments such as QR codes and NFC payments into the Nigerian market rather than a physical card.

Paga expects to start implementing these new options in Nigeria sometime in the second-quarter of this year.

In January, Paga acquired Ethiopian software development company Apposit, on plans to launch in the East African country. After Nigeria, Ethiopia has Africa’s second-largest population of 114 million.

Paga has also opened an office in Mexico and will launch its payments products there this year.

Since the founding of Paga at the beginning of the last decade, Paga has raised up to $34 million (€29m, £25m) in venture capital with the last fundraise being the $10 million Series B in 2019.

FURTHER READING: African payment startup app launches in Nigeria after $40m funding led by China’s Transsion

FURTHER READING: African payment start-up Chipper Cash raises $6m to expand geographic presence

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