• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

How Xpress Payment is changing narrative in Nigeria’s fintech space

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Fintech has gone from a buzzword to become a mainstay in the financial services industry. Almost every player is innovating with technology, investing in new technologies and collaborating with tech infrastructure companies to stay ahead of competition.

In Nigeria, fintech is a rapidly growing industry as multitudes of the population are increasingly reaping the benefits of sending and receiving money without necessarily having a bank account. Nigeria particularly is home to some well-grounded fintech establishments such as Interswitch, Flutterwave, e-Tranzact, Unified Payments, just to mention a few. However, there is still a growing concern in the rate of financial exclusion in Nigeria. According to a report by EFInA in 2018, 36 per cent of Nigeria’s adult population are financially excluded, and although that figure is an improvement on the 2016 figures which put financially excluded Nigerians at 41.6 per cent, the desire to drive Financial Inclusion has led to the establishment of myriads of fintech services in Nigeria.

Xpress Payments is one of the few start-ups that stand out in terms of accomplishments within a short time.

Incorporated in 2016 as a private company limited with a share capital base of N5 billion issued and fully paid up, as well as an asset base of N6 billion, Xpress Payment Solutions Limited is a financial technology company that specializes in the design, implementation and provision of electronic payment solutions.

Licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the company offers services including but not limited to payment solutions, transaction switching and third-party processing, payment terminal service with notable clients and partners as well as a platform that provides financial services to customers where there are no sufficient initiatives or capacity to establish formal branches.

Beyond these, the company boasts of sound partnership with heavy weights in the Banking Industry; Access Bank, First Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Zenith Bank among others.

Though relatively young in an increasingly competitive space, Xpress Payments has made significant inroads. Notable among these was in Delta State where for a system that could secure, restructure and manage funds were urgent.  Xpress Payment’s e-Cashier – a multi-account and multi-bank collection platform designed to enable public and private clients collect and pay funds was considered a perfect fit. In the end the organisation succeeded in helping Delta State realize an increase in the revenue allocation; reduce revenue leakages on the state collections.

Xpress Payment also provided very similar solutions in Ogun and Oyo States. In the former, it did so with the deployment of a revenue monitoring and collection platforms for Ogun State internally generated revenue and State-owned tertiary Institutions using various channels. While in Oyo State, it employed an effective collection platform, provision of POS and a fund disbursement platform.

Another remarkable feat worthy of mention is Xpress Payments’ Commencement of PTSP Operations in Nigeria, and how in a short space of three years, are remarkably ranked 6th in transaction value as per monthly ranking by NIBSS out of 20 other players. Currently managing POS terminals for 16 merchant acquirers, Xpress Payments also boasts of a robust, flexible and scalable transaction switching and processing platform which is designed as an open development platform, with a broader spectrum of transaction processing and retail banking task automation, to meet the contemporary payment challenges such as mobile payment, prepaid card customization, payment with use of tokens such as account, card, code etc.

Perhaps the most obvious question is how a supposed start-up would flourish in an already saturated fintech industry in Nigeria. Oluwadare Owolabi, managing director and CEO of the company is unperturbed.

“At the inception, few things were at the very core of our objectives; the solutions we brought to bear, which are quite essential in the consumer domain, we equally gave a careful thought to products and services that are not rendered by our competitors, which gave us an insightful edge into the minds and needs of the consumers,” says Owolabi. “A fitting example would be one of our products; e-cashier; this product was developed to enable public and private clients collect and pay funds, monitor what was collected from the desk of the merchant and sweep to a designated account.

The feel-good story of Xpress Payment is essentially a by-product of understanding the needs of the consumers, as well as a desire to maintain an enviable level of flexibility and simplicity of products and services rolled out to consumers.

“In the process of rolling out a product we have made it a point of duty to adopt the simplest patterns possible without reducing the quality of the said product,” says Oluwatoyin Albert, group head, Switching and Terminal Services.