Currently, 80% of all Africans lack access to formal financial services. With 61% of Nigerians living on less than USD 1 per day, low-cost financial services serve as a key step towards entering the formal economy.
Over 56 million adults in Nigeria have access to a mobile phone, but 57% of these adults remain un-banked.
As Nigeria is a cash intensive economy, many Nigerians join informal savings schemes, which are expensive and insecure, or default to unreliable methods of transferring funds.
Paga has developed a mobile payments/banking platform that, in its first phase, enables clients to transfer money or remit funds, purchase airtime and pay bills via a network of retail agents, mobile phones, or the Internet.
The second phase of Paga’s offering will deliver branchless financial services (including savings, credit, and microinsurance) through strong partnerships with banks, microfinance institutions and micro-insurance providers.
Since their launch to the general public in 2011, Paga has processed over 1.6 million transactions worth more than NGN 17.9 billion ($115 million). Paga has more than 530,000 users and over 2,700 agents in 150 communities across Nigeria.
Paga’s long-term impact will alter the financial landscape in Nigeria by mobilizing the poor towards the formal sector and strengthening families’ resilience to financial setbacks through much needed access to credit, savings and insurance products.
Acumen’s investment will help Paga expand its Agent network across Nigeria, enabling it to achieve its goal of bringing financial access to 15 million Nigerians by 2015.