Connecting a multitude of stakeholders across industries, payment platform creators are supporting Nigeria's economy through financial service optimization.

Valentine Obi

Founder & CEO, eTranzact

From new product launches to awards, we have continued to blaze a trail in a sector we are passionate about. Our mobile money product, PocketMoni, has been active for a number of years now, with thousands of agents that use the product for a variety of services involving cash ins and cash outs. We have also introduced other innovative solutions around it to help drive the product to the masses. There is a need to build much more services around mobile money that can bring in more revenue for agents, which is what is happening currently. One of the services introduced is called MPOS to help people who want to withdraw from ATMs. They can go to an MPOS agent and swipe their cards to get cash, 24/7. We just started with a few and now it is growing to the thousands. We are licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, and we partner with global money transfer operators (MTOs) such as Western Union and Paypal. The only way MTOs can succeed is with efficient and exceptional services to customers.

Tayo Oviosu

Founder & CEO, PAGA

PAGA is making considerable progress on our goal of building up our agent network. PAGA currently has 12,500 agents, and our goal is to get to 15,000 in 2017. We are well on track to achieve that. The next thing for us in 2017 is building on our agent network to offer financial services to the unbanked and under-banked. We are excited about the opportunity as our agent network gives us the needed distribution reach to the mass market. I do not believe we can have a digital-only strategy, because we still need a way to get cash into and out of a system. In four years of trading, PAGA now has 6.8 million users on its platform and a significant chunk of that growth has been over the last two years, due to our agent distribution network. With that distribution network, we are able to layer a digital platform on top. Over time, more people will get comfortable with using digital services, but for financial services, we still need that physical interaction and structure.

Shola Akinlade

Co-founder, Paystack

We were the first Nigerian company to be accepted into Y Combinator, arguably one of Silicon Valley's best-known accelerators, and the home of well-known technology companies like Dropbox and Airbnb; now, eight or nine Nigerian companies have done so. The first thing Paystack has done is open up that path to young people who are creating things. Secondly, we have made it extremely easy for businesses to start accepting payments; before Paystack, it would take about three or four weeks to set up a system, and now with Paystack, businesses can accept payments within 30 minutes. Another thing is figuring out why the failure rate for transactions was high and fixing this to ensure we have the best success rate for transactions in the market. However, ultimately we are pushing limits simply by empowering local merchants of all sizes, making it easier for them to accept payments from their customers.