Nigerian payment and financial service company OPay has unveiled its growth plans for 2021 and beyond after achieving a successful business year at a press conference held on March 1, 2021.
The press briefing kicked off with business updates from the company presented by Joshua Yau, Managing VP for OPay in Nigeria.
Mr Yau notes that “amidst the pandemic, lockdown, and global uncertainty, OPay had its most impactful and transformative year yet in 2020. As a payment company, it grew its total gross transaction value 4.5 times to over $2 billion in December. The point-of-sale (POS) terminals deployed in its mobile money agent and merchant network represented roughly 1/5 of offline payments in Nigeria by year-end. Its mobile wallets have more than 2 million wallets with balances, totalling over $17 million.”
Country Manager Iniabasi Akpan provided a quick summary and review of OPay’s operations and performance in 2020, touching on how the company provided Nigerians convenient access to cash and job creation, driven by innovation.
“We helped to give easy-to-access financial services to close to more than ten million Nigerians in all corners of the country. Our agents serve a population that is far from bank branches and ATMs, often in the outskirt of cities, suburban areas, or rural areas”.
“We believe that the impact we have made so far could not have been without our most important partners – our agents and merchants. By providing their customers with convenience, they were able to earn a solid income with many expanding their businesses, even in the difficult pandemic”, Mr Akpan notes.
VP, Payments Solutions and Corporate Partnerships, Oladipo Omogbenigun, shared that OPay’s growth plans in 2021 will rely on developing and deepening their strategic partnerships in the financial ecosystem with banks, regulators, card schemes, payment processors, payment service providers and other key players.
He also shared plans to partner and support banks to scale deposits many-folds this year – since by regulation, OPay needs to safeguard its wallet deposits with established banks. Oladipo also gave insights into Opay debit cards, which are scheduled to launch this year. The cards are the first of their kind and will be directly linked to Opay wallets. This will further bolster our gospel of financial inclusion. Opay wallet users will be able to use the cards on ATMs, POS terminals at merchant locations and e-commerce sites, according to Mr Omogbenigun.
“We have launched CreditMe, which gives easy access to credit to all wallet users at the point of purchase. We have also just launched standardised loan products to our agents and merchants based on our relationship. We think access to savings and loans through our partners is the critical step in true financial inclusion beyond just accessing cash,” Mr Omogbenigun adds.
VP, Product and Engineering, Dotun Adekunle shared plans around empowering offline payments and encouraging online businesses.
“We have innovatively built technological workarounds to ensure higher network availability on our systems without compromising speed and quality of service, this despite ecosystem challenges that would have led to incessant downtimes”.
“Our goal is to make payments integration easy and simple so developers and innovators of digital products can focus on building the core functionality of their products”, Adekunle notes.
OPay launched its mobile payment service in August 2018, creating an infrastructure on which the company is now also adding new services. The agent-centric mobile payment operation focuses on reaching the massive unbanked population of Nigeria. OPay’s vision is to rapidly support the realization of Nigeria’s vision for financial inclusion for everyone through the use of global-leading technology.