Small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) make up 90% of all businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. The vast majority of these SMBs struggle to sell efficiently. They do not have systems to track inventory, and primarily trade with cash. On social media or their own website, those who are selling online also face trust issues with customers who have to pay ahead with little to no recourse and poor delivery logistics. SMBs also struggle to reconcile their sales efficiently and manage their internal operations — paying salaries, paying vendors, or accessing working capital are significant challenges in Africa.
Solving these challenges is at the heart of Paga — we are focused on serving the emerging middle class and making it simple to pay and get paid, shop and sell. We have incubated a new platform focused on SMBs, starting in Nigeria (name to be announced in the future — watch this space). The platform leverages the payments infrastructure that Paga has built and made available to all 3rd party partners — further demonstrating the power of Paga’s Open APIs.
We are excited to announce that we will be launching this platform in partnership with Visa! Below is a video discussing our collaboration.
Visa and Paga have shared values in driving digital acceptance across Africa. Our companies came together to co-create a solution to the challenges SMBs face and took a human-centered approach to understand the issues and devising solutions. The outcome is a suite called Business Connect & Grow.
Businesses will have access to an affordable mobile device configured with secure Visa payment acceptance for cards and QR codes. The application will allow customers to pay however they wish to pay — cards, QR codes, bank transfers, USSD, payment links, or nearby payments (NFC). Businesses will also be able to run payroll via Paycheck, build their credit history, receive micro-loans, and ultimately work on their capital to grow their businesses!
The pilot of ‘Business, Connect & Grow’ has been ongoing in Lagos, Nigeria, and has over 4,000 businesses. We will have our commercial launch in the coming weeks and bring these capabilities to more businesses in Nigeria and beyond.