Tayo Oviosu’s Nigerian Payments Firm Paga Partners With Visa

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
meditating Paga
Tayo Oviosu’s Nigerian payments firm Paga has partnered with Visa. The agreement is expected to drive larger payment volumes for both companies. Photo: Anita Sanikop/Moguldom

Nigerian mobile payments company Paga is partnering with U.S. credit card firm Visa to give 14 million Paga customers the ability to make purchases at stores by simply tapping their phone screens or scanning a code.

Visa’s partnership with Paga does not involve an investment in the Nigerian startup, but it is expected to drive larger payment volumes for both companies, TechCrunch reports.

Lagos-based Paga was founded in 2009 by CEO Tayo Oviosu. Paga allows people to digitally send and receive money while allowing them to transfer money, pay bills and buy airtime through its digital wallet.

It claims to have processed 104 million transactions worth $6.6 billion.

Paga has raised $34.7 million in four funding rounds since 2010, with the most recent being a September 2018 Series B investment of $10 million, Crunchbase reports.

In January 2020, Paga announced plans to expand into Ethiopia and Mexico

It acquired Apposit, a U.S. incorporated software development company based in Ethiopia, for an undisclosed amount, Techcrunch reported. Apposit builds large-scale enterprise software for African businesses.

Paga expects to benefit from the Visa partnership by leveraging the credit card giant’s technology to enhance payment options, according to a press release.

“Based on the partnership we’re going to launch QR codes and near-field communication into the market in Nigeria — alternative ways of receiving payments than bringing out a physical card,” said Oviosu.

Near-field communication is a mobile-based technology that allows two devices — like a phone and a payments terminal — to talk to each other when they’re close together, enabling contactless mobile payments.

These new payment options are planned to be launched in Nigeria during the second quarter of 2020.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 07: Tayo Oviosu

Jamarlin Martin catches up with Tayo Oviosu at SXSW 2018. Oviosu is the Founder and CEO of Paga, the leading mobile payments company in Nigeria.

Visa has partnerships in place with other African fintech startups including Nigeria’s Flutterwave and South Africa’s Yoco

In 2019, Visa invested $200 million for a 20 percent stake in Nigerian digital payment firm Interswitch, confirming its status as a unicorn.