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Pawapay, the mobile money platform of the Nigerian government, is now undergoing an expansion. According to Kene Okafor, the Chief Information Officer of the government’s e-money agency, the move is meant to facilitate the adoption of digital payments in the country 3bsinghtechcrunch. As such, the platform is looking to invest in new technologies and develop new business models to help customers make the most of the service.
Mobile money in Nigeria
Mobile money is a major player in payments in Africa. The region’s telecom operators have forged their own systems to allow people to transfer money securely. This infrastructure is fragmented, and expensive to use at scale. Despite this, mobile money is a popular alternative to bank accounts for the unbanked. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, over $500 billion flows through mobile money markets annually. As such, there is plenty of opportunity for payment gateway providers to tap into. However, this market is still in its infancy. PawaPay has stepped in to fill this gap, bringing with it $9 million in seed funding. Founder Nikolai Barnwell hopes to establish the company as a leader in high volume mobile money payments.
With over 300 million mobile wallets across Africa, PawaPay is connecting a large number of consumers to its platform. For example, if you want to make a transfer to someone in another country, you just open an account on PawaPay. After you’re set up, you can use the platform to send money to them via mobile or bank.