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PalmPay targets 36m unbanked Nigerians with launch of new app

…obtains mobile money licence


PalmPay, an Africa-focused fintech firm announced that it has launched an app that will not only reward its users for making payments but will give Nigeria’s excluded population access to secure and easy to use financial services.

The mobile wallet will offer customers a platform to top up funds electronically or via offline access points, with the ability to make and accept individual and merchant payments, the company has said.

According to Greg Reeve, Global PalmPay CEO, consumers can access a range of digital services via the PalmPay mobile app, including P2P transfers, airtime and bill payment. The company is seeking to carve out market share by positioning itself as “the payment app that rewards you.”

“Our USP of offering cashback and discounts to users has caught on in the price-sensitive Nigerian and Ghanaian markets. ” Reeve said. In Nigeria, PalmPay is offering 10% cashback on airtime purchases and bank transfer rates of N10 with free deposits and withdrawals to its mobile wallet. Over a million transactions have been made on the platform within its first two months of pilot operations and the company is now eyeing rapid expansion.

Recent data by EFInA put Nigeria’s financial inclusion rate at 63.2 percent, meaning that as much as 36.6 million adults still lack access to financial services. Therefore, PalmPay’s strategy to achieve nationwide reach is to offer a platform where both banked and unbanked consumers can access financial services.

To do this, the company has obtained an Approval-in-Principle to operate as a Mobile Money Operator (MMO) from the Central Bank of Nigeria. This will allow it to build an agent network to facilitate in-person cash in and cash out to its mobile wallet.

PalmPay’s announcement included a $40m USD seed round that was led by smartphone brand TECNO mobile, which it plans to invest to build out its payment infrastructure in Nigeria and other African countries. The device brand is also supporting PalmPay with an exclusive pre-install deal, which will see at least 20 million phones come with the app out of the box from next year. Additionally, PalmPay will be able to leverage TECNO’s offline distribution network of thousands of retail shops and sign them up to its mobile money agent network.

“Tecno has helped expand access to smartphones among the Nigerian population. We are now looking to leverage this infrastructure to further improve people’s lives.” said Stephen Ha, General Manager of TECNO Mobile. “We see a huge growth opportunity in mobile payments and financial services on the continent and are looking forward to working together with the PalmPay team to help shape the future of payments in Africa.”

PalmPay also plans to leverage the network of 100,000 merchants belonging to Visa, which the company counts as strategic partners. In April 2019, PalmPay announced that it would work together with VISA to roll out innovations in the African digital payments space. As a result of the collaboration, Visa cardholders are able to initiate payments within the app and make online and mobile payments by attaching their card details to their PalmPay profile. Non-card carriers will be able to generate a virtual Visa card upon registration.

The PalmPay app will provide access to a variety of other financial products offered by third parties. According to Reeve, this ecosystem approach by the Africa Fintech firm is key to help it achieve its goal of becoming the continent’s largest payments platform.

“We want to provide the best choice and value in the market to consumers so that PalmPay becomes a one-stop financial hub, online and offline,” said Reeve.

Through its partnerships with TECNO mobile and Visa, PalmPay is building out a very reliable payment network that will soon reach millions of users.  “We also welcome other companies to join forces with us so we can work together to deliver the best choice and value for consumers”



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