Nigeria And UK Tech Firms Sign $73M Agreement To Deliver Cashless Transport System

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

Nigerian fintech firm Interswitch and the U.K.’s Becoz have a $73 million partnership agreement to establish a research hub in Lagos.

The partnership will see the firms providing card technology allowing commuters to use public transport without needing cash or a paper ticket, according to Weetracker.

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Interswitch has developed a multi-channel payment network to serve the need for effective payment services across Africa.

U.K. company Becoz’s is expected to produce the smartcards for this project, which will be similar to the Oyster card system, a form of electronic ticket used on London’s public transport, according to InnovativeVillage.

A research hub is expected to be built in Lagos as part of the partnership between the two tech firms.

A cashless transport system is good for the economy as it is attractive for tourists and means more revenue for cities and government.

Transit agencies spend an average 14.5 cent of every dollar collected in cash compared to the 4.2 cents for every digital dollar, according to the Visa Cashless Cities report.

cashless transport
Nigerians boarding a bus. AP Photo – Jossy Ola

This would be an advantage for Nigeria, and could also help alleviate the issue of traffic to a degree.

The same Visa report found that digital payment on buses takes 2.6 seconds on average across a cross-section of global cities while using cash takes 4.2 seconds or more.

Cashless transport from Nigeria’s fintech star

At a cost of $73 million, this partnership will be another impressive accomplishment for Interswitch, which will head up the project’s implementation, NewsCentral revealed.

The Nigerian fintech firm appears poised to list on the London Stock Exchange before the end of 2019, with some investors believing it to be worth over $1 billion already, Techcrunch reports.

Interswitch has been involved in acquisitions over the last five years. It acquired Paynet in 2014 and Vanso in 2016, according to Crunchbase.