Making life possible for Nigerians
At Paga we are solving two problems — making it easy to pay and get paid, and delivering financial services to the mass market. To solve both of these problems in Nigeria it is critical to have a strong retail distribution network to reach the mass market. This is simply because the reach of the banks, and the numbers of those who are banked, is low. Thus, we need to have locations where consumers can go to get financial services rendered to them. We call these “agents”. Building and managing this distribution network is VERY hard work and at core to the success of any mobile money company.
Today, Paga has the largest and most active agent network in Nigeria. With 12,600+ agents Paga has a distribution reach larger than that of any financial institution in Nigeria, in fact more than ALL banks combined. The banks in Nigeria have 5k+ bank branches in total. We also are growing transactions and all key KPIs at a very fast pace (10x+ growth in monthly transactions in 2 years). However, the numbers are not what excite me the most. Most exciting to me is the impact we are having in communities across Nigeria…the people whose livelihood is dependent on Paga…the people who are getting access to financial services through our platform (6m+)…and the strong foundation we have laid over the past 4 years to build out the future we envision.
Last week Friday I went to visit one of Paga’s top agents. The agent is based on the outskirts of Lagos. I left quite inspired by our work and the impact we are having in his community. The agent has been a Paga agent for 5 years, has 4 outlets, and hires 13 staff — Paga is his full time job. He also has 14 sub-agents! A statistic I’ve been told, attributed to Euromonitor, is there are 4 people depending on any 1 working person in Nigeria. This means through this one agent Paga is impacting the lives of at least 112 people and then you have our user base who, through his location, have access to financial services!
As I entered his location I saw a queue of people being served. This was the same in both of his locations I visited. The agent has a well defined process to deal with the foot traffic in his outlets. Customers fill out a transaction slip similar to what is used in a banking hall. There are cashiers who are the first line with the customers. The cashier processes any account opening or withdrawal transactions, but for other transactions, such as deposits to Paga, money transfers or bill payments, the cashier simply verifies the money and gives a receipt. The cashier then passes the transaction to the back office staff who do the data entry into Paga to actually process the transaction. I was happy to see how he has created a well functioning Paga “banking” hall. These are the locations through which we reach the mass market.
As part of the visit we went to see the Oba of the community (the King). The Oba is a Paga customer as well!! He talked about how Paga has saved him needing to drive 20km to get to the nearest bank. Now, right at the palace he uses Paga (*242# on any phone and any network or mypaga.com or Paga Android app). He said he has seen the impact in the community and even performed a “very large” transaction just the day prior. He prayed for us and our business! It was simply awesome hearing the feedback and seeing the local monarch support our efforts!
Our team works so hard and we have an amazing set of agents — entrepreneurs who also want to make a difference in their communities. My visit really brought to life the impact we are having in the lives of people in communities across Nigeria — indeed we are making life possible for Nigerians! I’m very excited about that and pumped about the future of Paga!! 🙌🏾
Learn more about Paga’s agent network: