This is the second in a series of Q&As with local payment operators on their views on the significance potential effects of PayPal’s entry into the Nigerian space.
SimplePay is a novel payments platform that allows any business or consumer with an e-mail address and a bank account to securely and conveniently send and receive payments online or through their mobile phone. Richard Tanksley is the Chief Financial Officer of SimplePay and believes that as far as Nigeria’s payments landscape is concerned, the field is wide enough to accommodate even more players.
TechCabal: Would you say PayPal’s entry into the Nigerian/African market will have any impact on the local payments space?
Rich Tanksley: Most people on Nigeria have figured out how to collect payments on their web stores by now, but having PayPal as a checkout choice will provide another payment option which gives merchants and buyers more flexibility to choose the ones with the lowest fees.
PayPal’s possibly heralds the entry of other international payment services like Stripe and Square. How prepared is SimplePay for this potential “onslaught”?
Mobile and web payment penetration in Nigeria is still very low. It’s a new concept for most people and having PayPay and other international payment services entering the country will only help get more people used to cashless payments. Nigeria is such a huge growth market for mobile and online payment solutions that it would take years for even several players to saturate the market. SimplePay is committed to being the largest and most flexible online financial services company in Nigeria. Partnering with other payment platforms rather than competing with them is our current strategy.
Should PayPal eventually include the ability to receive payments, it arguably presents a great advantage for local merchants, considering the zero financial barrier to entry. This is something that cannot be said of most local payment services. What is Simplepay doing to address this and what are the challenges so far?
So far. PayPal users in Nigeria can only fund and make online purchases using their PayPal account. For more than a year now, SimplePay users have been able to send money, receive money, and make payments with our web site or mobile applications. Our challenge is just letting people know that SimplePay exists. Once people use it once, they are hooked because it is so much faster, safer and more convenient than cash. The market in Nigeria is so large that reaching even a small percentage of the population through marketing efforts is expensive.
Will SimplePay be open to collaborating with local developers to produce better integrated payment systems that will operate at the standard of global payment systems like PayPal?
Absolutely. SimplePay is a Nigerian company and we are committed to creating opportunities at home as much as possible. We are currently working on offloading all our integration work to web development partners. Our integration partner program is in its infancy, but we expect to have it up and running in a month or so. Any local developers interested in becoming a certified SimplePay integration partner, can contact us from our web site at www.simplepay4u.com.