Nigerian payments and financial services company Paga has launched its Visa cards, which come in both physical and virtual forms.
Consumers now have the ability to pay at more than 100 million merchant locations around the world. These cards will initially be in naira and will soon be followed by US dollar-denominated cards.
Paga stated the decision to first launch with a virtual naira card was deliberate. It added that Nigeria is the company’s largest market, and it is committed to supporting the needs of its biggest market as quickly as possible.
The FinTech company stated its cards differ from others due to two main reasons. The first is that they can be funded from any financial institution in real-time.
Each card has its unique NUBAN number that enables interoperability with all financial institutions for real-time funding by bank transfers, deposits at bank branches or agents (not just Paga agents), and from any FinTech app.
The second core differentiator is that each card has a unique JustPaga.me payment page. This enables Paga customers to send payment links to their friends and family and have the money deposited directly into their Paga card in real-time.
These virtual cards can be created and activated within 20 seconds and done entirely through the app.
Another boon of the cards is that customers will get real-time notifications of transactions on their card and can freeze or unfreeze the card through the app.
Speaking on the partnership, Andrew Uaboi, Visa West Africa vice president and head, said, “We believe in innovation-led collaborations, and FinTechs remain core to solving the access to financial services gap in Africa. Partnerships are fundamental to our business model and this expansion of our strategic alliance with Paga is another example of how we can help our clients deliver improved customer experiences.
“Whether it is changing the way people invest, manage money, or sending real-time payments to friends and family, Visa is a natural partner for FinTechs, providing them with new ways to reach their customers through Visa’s vast network and global scale. We are proud to partner with Paga and support their ambitions to bring more Africans into the financial system with relevant digital solutions.”
Paga currently has over 20 million customers and over 140,000 agent points across Nigeria.
Paga previously closed its Series B2 round in 2018 on $10m.
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