Image from Quartz

There has been a revolutionary change in payment methods, with global trends showing a clear shift towards mobile payments. According to Business Insider Intelligence, by 2020, mobile payments will make up to 45% of all e-commerce payments. Currently, mobile payments are in three forms: mobile wallets, mobile money, and mPOS transactions. There has been significant advancement in mobile money wallet technology since the product was introduced to the market. In its most basic framework, a mobile wallet is a way to carry your credit card or debit card information, digital coupons, gift cards and so on, in a digital form on your mobile device. This eliminates the need for carrying around a physical plastic card and is instead replaced by payments through smart devices. In today’s mobile wallet landscape, to remain competitive, most MMOs are adding multiple features to their products that is making them as capable as bank accounts, and in some cases even more versatile.

Apple pay, Samsung Pay and Paypal are some of the most widely used mobile wallets today, with the first two, of course, being operating system specific. Processing billions of dollars in transactions across the world, there has been a clear adoption of mobile payment methods which has led to a trend in the market of various brands creating their own wallets for payments with reward systems to incentivize customers, honing in the draw of convenience.

In Africa, and more specifically in Nigeria, we are still steps behind the total embrace of technological payment advancements due to a high percentage of a low income and uneducated population, and in part due to the late arrival of such technologies. However, the increase in mobile phone and internet penetration, the barriers to entry for acquiring bank accounts, and lack of access to banking facilities in more rural areas, has led to the growing popularity of mobile money as the solution to financial inclusion.

In the past 5 years, we have seen the birth of many mobile money and payment start ups, and the competition for millennial market share has intensified with banks and even Telcos collaborating with key players to shift towards digital wallet products, and create simpler payment and financial solutions for the unbanked and under banked. The “old” mobile wallet was simply a digital storage space for already existing cards with no extra features. Actions like depositing cash into your mobile wallet and making POS or ATM withdrawals were unheard of and could only be conducted through bank accounts. As a major player in the mobile money operating space, we were not only the first on the scene in 2012, but the first to be licensed and officially regulated by CBN, and we quickly adapted our mobile wallet beyond its expected capabilities.

In many ways, Paga is defining the new mobile wallet;

With a Paga wallet, consumers can link multiple cards or accounts, with which they can spend directly from.

The wallet also allows you to transfer or receive money to and from any local bank account or international partners such as Western Union Transferwise, Worldremit, and Azinmo, while cash can be deposited or withdrawn from any trusted agent or cardless at select ATMs.

As Paga is partnered with the most popular merchants and service providers, customers find it easy and convenient to seamless to pay bills and buy airtime through their wallets.

Since consumers in the Nigerian markets have proven to be wary of online transactions, We have gone through great lengths to make sure our wallet is PCI DSS Level 1 certified, which is the highest security measure joining the ranks of Visa and Mastercard.

Indeed, at Paga is setting the standard for mobile money, and as we recently received the NIBBS award for the third year consecutively for most outstanding mobile money operator and highest transacting operator, it is clear that the public is backing up that claim.

There is still room for more improvement and innovation of financial products and finding ways to connect with both the unbanked, and the millennial generation, who are looking away from traditional methods and relying on technological solutions to life’s problems. In more advanced markets, many services attracted no fees and most are completely free to use for customers, with brands more interested in acquiring market share than monetization. In Nigeria, many customers complain of hidden and increasing transaction fees, unfair savings terms, lack of access to lending services and high insurance rates, and these are all areas where FinTechs have room to acquire customers who are greatly underserved.

As we monitor the growth of mobile money and the FinTech sector, at Paga, we continue to lead the charge for innovative products, financial inclusion and effective market penetration across Nigeria.

As we enter Q3, we cannot wait to reveal all that we have planned for the rest of year and unveil all our new products.

Making Life Possible is our ethos at paga, and it is what keeps us committed to our mission of providing inclusive financial services for all Nigerians. With over 15,000 agent outlets and 8 million+ customers, we are inspired by the stories of the community we are building and the people we are empowering by making life possible every single day. Sign up for a Paga wallet today.

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