The first time I came across Paga, I was looking to find a way to reduce my monthly trips to the bank to send money home. Smart Alec! Did I hear you say, ‘whatever happened to internet banking?’. Internet access was something you did not look forward to in the suburbs of the FCT where I lived. This was in 2010 and paga has grown from strength to strength since setting up shop in 2009.
Their business model leveraged on the ubiquity of mobile phones with the most basic of features- sms! This bottom-of-the-pyramid approach makes a strong case in removing the barriers associated with engaging in financial transactions in a regular brick and mortar model that modern day banks are. In a country reported to have a whopping 80 million people outside a regulated banking industry, there did exist a window of opportunity for the brave. Their approach sought to use predefined sms instructions to engage in financial transactions.
There is a bit for everyone as their business model sought to include folks with conventional bank accounts were also factored in.
This means that anyone with a mobile phone could now send/ receive money and make payments at locations with the paga brand boldly emblazoned.
With more than 89,282 users and counting, you bet they are on to something really interesting.
We wish the brains behind this innovative idea and wish them success in their endeavours. Follow them on twitter at @mypaga and be sure to pay them a visit at www.mypaga.com
This sure is a great approach to deepening financial inclusion statistics of our dear country.