Lagos, Nigeria, 27 September 2021: Untapped Global, an investment company focused on emerging markets, announces a scale up of its partnership with Paga, the mobile payment and financial services company. The program finances point-of-sale devices (POS) for merchants in Nigeria, the largest country in Africa, but still underserved when it comes to financial services.
The collaboration between Paga and Untapped focuses on empowering small businesses to accept digital payments and bring financial services to the masses. The financing is structured to lower the overall cost of entry for merchants to acquire a handheld POS terminal and other digital tools for their businesses, making it easy for them to buy, sell, and get paid.
“We are excited to scale our POS rollout program with Untapped,” said Tayo Oviosu, Founder and CEO of Paga Group. “We have built the best on-ramps and off-ramps for cash in Nigeria through the Paga agent network and are further digitizing merchants via our new merchant platform, Doroki. Across our ecosystem, we currently have over 33,000 merchants. Our collaboration with Untapped is accelerating our progress to reaching 120,000 merchants in the next two years by lowering the startup and onboarding costs for merchants.”
Untapped Global offers Smart Asset Financing to asset-based businesses across Africa and other emerging markets. Smart Asset Financing is an innovative investment model that provides flexible capital for fast-growing enterprises like Paga, leveraging technology to make investments safer and more profitable for investors by tracking assets and capturing revenue in real-time.
Paga’s POS devices enable merchants to accept cards, mobile payments, and other forms of digital payments, and offer other value-add financial services to customers. The financing from Untapped is unique, as payments are recovered from the revenues earned on the devices. Lowering the cost of entry for using mobile payments is key to delivering the benefits of Africa’s growing fintech revolution to even the smallest businesses.
“The network of the POS devices that will be available for merchants via this partnership is powerful,” Untapped founder and CEO, Jim Chu, commented. “It enables a seamless process for merchants and their customers to buy, sell, and get paid. We’re excited to use Smart Asset Financing to greatly increase access to financial services across Nigeria with partners that know the space best, like Paga.”
Untapped and Paga had an initial and successful pilot in 2021. Scaling up the availability of the devices shows the impact these devices have on small businesses, particularly in emerging markets like Nigeria.
“Our goal at Paga Group is to make it simple for 1 billion people to pay, get paid, and access financial services,” Oviosu said. “The team at Untapped is aligned with that goal, and the current partnership showcases its objective to ensure that entrepreneurs have the opportunity to scale to their full potential.”
Paga is a payments and financial services ecosystem for Africa. Our ecosystem is similar to that of Square and PayPal as we focus on helping both consumers and sellers pay, get paid, and access financial services. Our first market is Nigeria where we now have over 18 million unique users.
Africa is massively underserved when it comes to payments and financial services. We believe that in today’s Africa, digital-only does not scale. Cash will not go away anytime soon and smartphone penetration is still low (Nigeria, as an example, is where the US was in smartphone penetration in 2010, and most business is conducted offline).
Paga enables consumers to access and use money in the most convenient way for them, whether that is through a neighborhood store (agents) or via their mobile phone (smartphone or feature phone). We also enable sellers to sell more efficiently and access financing. Additionally, we open our APIs to third party partners to enable endless possibilities for others to innovate.
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About Untapped Global
Based in San Francisco with teams in East Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Europe, Untapped Global is reshaping profitable investing in frontier markets. On a mission to empower the next billion entrepreneurs to scale to their full potential, Untapped creates opportunity by connecting frontier market innovators to global investors through its Smart Asset Financing™ platform that provides CAPEX financing for revenue-generating assets around the world, and its global investment network, The Nest.
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