Image: Paga CEO – Tayo Oviosu with Medplus MD – Mrs. Joke Bakare; at the official signing of the agreement in Lagos, last week.
Guardian Newspaper (20th May, 2013)
PAGA, a mobile payments company and Medplus, a market leader in the Nigerian health and beauty service industry, have announced a strategic alliance, which will see both organisations combining the scale and reach of their respective business lines to provide consumers with unprecedented access to all Paga services and cashless payment options at all Medplus locations nationwide.
Founded in 2009, Paga is a home-grown payments service that provides access to fast and secure money transfer, bill payments, airtime top-up and merchant payments. Paga services are available on all telecom networks in Nigeria, and accessible via any phone or Internet enabled device, or through Paga’s rapidly expanding network of agents.
Medplus, which has been in operation since 1993, will be leveraging on this partnership as an opportunity to further bring additional services needed by Nigerians to its outlets, thus reinforcing Medplus’ position as a trusted service point in the local community.
Paga offers mobile payment across the country with the mobile phone as its major tool. The recipient does not need to have a Paga account; they simply go to the nearest agent to collect the money. With this announcement the recipient can go to any Medplus to collect money sent to them.
Additionally people can visit any Medplus to initiate Paga transactions; most of which are now free – send money to anyone in Nigeria(Free if both sender and recipient are registered Paga users), free bill payments for DStv, GOtv, PHCN and many more; buy airtime on all major phone networks and other Paga services.
The partnership will see Medplus leverage Paga to promote cashless payments at its stores – people can walk into any Medplus and pay using cash in their Paga account. This brings cashless payments to banked and unbanked people as it costs nothing to open a Paga account. Users can also deposit money into their Paga account for free at any Paga agent nationwide.
Since receiving its CBN license in November 2011, Paga’s now boasts of over 350 businesses registered to use the platform to collect payments and over 1,600 agents in 23 states nationwide.
For the over 600,000 customers that now use Paga, the addition of Medplus’s strategic locations and exceptional customer service culture to the agent network will only serve to further promote Paga’s standing as the leading mobile payments provider in the country.
Speaking to both companies regarding the partnership, Paga co-founder, head agent network management, Jay Alabraba stated: “Growing our nationwide network of Paga agents through partnerships like this sits at the heart of our long term strategy; we are extremely excited to welcome Medplus to our agent network. The Medplus brand is trusted and well regarded, similar to the Paga brand. Medplus also has an excellent customer service culture that aligns well with our values at Paga. Simply put, this partnership is about bringing convenience and better value to customers – they no longer need to rely on inconvenient money transfer methods such as bus drivers or sending airtime scratch card; they don’t need to stand in long lines at the bank to pay bills or transfer money to loved ones – they just need to walk into their neighbourhood Medplus and use Paga. Partnering with leading organisations like Medplus is key to reaching our goal of 30,000 agents by 2015 – we will be announcing more such mutually beneficial partnerships in the coming months.”
Managing Director, Medplus, Joke Bakare added: “At Medplus, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality products and delivering the best customer service to our customers. We envision Medplus as a one-stop shop for all the critical needs of people in the communities that we serve – for this reason we regularly update the offering in our stores. We are proud to be associated with Paga; we chose to work with them because of their proven quality of their service, customer-centric approach to business, and overall leadership in mobile payments.