Paga, a Nigerian fintech that has been in operation for 13 years, has partnered with Visa, a global card issuer, to launch virtual and physical cards. Paga users can now make payments using their Paga cards online or at any location that accepts Visa cards. The cards will be available in Naira first before US dollar-denominated cards are launched.
Paga chose to launch the Naira virtual cards first because Nigeria is Paga’s largest market, and the company says that there has been a demand for virtual cards from its users. To get these cards, users have to update their app and make an application, a process that Paga says takes less than a minute.
According to Paga, there are two things that set its virtual cards apart. First, real-time funding for the virtual cards is available from any financial institution. Each card has its own 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.
Secondly, each card has its own unique payment page, enabling Paga customers to send their payment links to friends or family and have the money deposited directly into their Paga card in real time. Customers also get real-time notifications of transactions on their cards and can freeze or unfreeze the card if needed, right in the Paga app.
This is not the first time that Paga and Visa have partnered, as both companies have previously collaborated on a variety of projects for merchant acceptance and issuance. On merchant acceptance, both companies collaborated on the launch of Doroki, a commerce offering for retailers which launched in November 2021. The two companies also partnered to launch Paga’s direct online card processing service, which made card transactions on Paga platforms more reliable by removing dependency on other card processors.
Speaking on the implications of the partnership, Tayo Oviosu, founder and CEO of Paga Group, said, “We are thrilled about the launch of our Visa-branded cards. This is a significant milestone because it aligns with our goal of making it simple for people to access and use money. Customers now have access to Visa’s global network through Paga cards. I am really excited about how Paga cards will make life easier for our customers in Nigeria and beyond.”
Echoing his statement, Andrew Uaboi, vice president and head of Visa West Africa, 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…We are proud to partner with Paga and support their ambitions to bring more Africans into the financial system with relevant digital solutions.”