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Paga Achieves Global Ranking on 2017 Fintech 250 List

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Paga, Nigeria’s leading Payments and Digital Financial Services Company has been named by CB Insights to the prestigious Fintech 250, a select group of emerging private companies working on groundbreaking financial technology.

Anand Sanwal, CB Insights CEO and co-founder, revealed the Fintech 250 companies during The Future of Fintech, a gathering of the world’s largest financial institutions, best fintech startups, and most active venture investors.

“The financial services industry will see more change in the next 10 years than it has in the last 100. And this transformation is being driven by a group of smart disruptive start-up companies. The Fintech 250 are the most promising of these insurgents. They are bringing emerging technologies and business models to financial services that will permanently change the way we handle money and do business,” said CB Insights CEO Anand Sanwal.

Founded in 2009 and launched to the market fully in 2012, Paga is Nigeria’s leading payments and digital financial services company with a mission to transform lives by delivering innovative and universal access to financial services.

Many Nigerians struggle with two financial problems; ease of payments and access to financial services.

Paga addresses these challenges through two channels: online/mobile which includes a short code payment platform (*242#) accessible on any mobile phone, mypaga.com as well as mobile apps, and through its network of over 12,000 retail agents across 36 states in Nigeria. In just over 4 years, Paga now has 6 million users on its platform.

“We are honoured to be selected for the CB Insights list for 2017. This recognition is for our team and investors and is a great recognition of our progress to date. Paga is well on its way to bank the millions of unbanked in Nigeria and solve the payment challenges of all Nigerians – both banked and unbanked. We are doing this by taking a multi-stakeholder approach as we build out a robust ecosystem. That ecosystem is anchored by our strong network of agents – currently over 12,000 women and men who are entrepreneurs in their local communities that offer safe locations to access financial services.” said Tayo Oviosu, Founder and CEO of Paga.

The CB Insights research team selected the Fintech 250 companies based on several factors including data submitted by the companies and the company’s Mosaic Score.

The Mosaic Score, based on CB Insights’ National Science Foundation-funded algorithm, measures the overall health and growth potential of private companies. Through this evidence-based, statistically-driven approach, the Mosaic Score can help predict a company’s momentum, market health and financial viability.

Companies such as Affirms, Stripe, Robinhood, Acorns, Nav and Blue Vine are also being recognized for their innovative technology in front of an audience of 1000 senior executives from around the world and news outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Reuters and Bloomberg.

Quick facts on the Fintech 250:
●    These 250 emerging private companies have raised $14B across 240 deals in 2016.
●    Applications of their technology include breakthroughs in insurance, lending, payments, human resources, real estate, and much more.
●    More than 2,000 companies were nominated or applied for the Fintech 250 (only 8% were selected).
●    Ribbit Capital has backed 17 of the Fintech 250 companies, while Andreesen Horowitz and Goldman Sachs backed 9.
●    Twenty-three Fintech 250 companies have reached a valuation of $1B or more.
●    23 countries are represented among the Fintech 250 companies.

With the vision to be Africa’s leading payments and digital bank, Paga continues to innovate and work closely with banks and other financial institutions to introduce more services that will make it even easier for people to conveniently make payments and get access to financial services.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world.

So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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E-Financial

Vodacom Director Urges Accountants to Leverage Sage/ACCA Partnership

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By peter oluka

Mr Oluseyi Olanrewaju, the finance director at Vodacom Business Africa (Nigeria) Limited, has re-emphasised the need for accounting professionals to embrace digital culture.

He made the remark while delivering keynote address at Sage-ACCA Continuing Professional Development (CPA), event held in Lagos Tuesday, which was the launch of partnership between the two entities to provide platform for accountants to embrace digital transformations.

Olanrewaju emphasized that rapid growth and development in information technology has brought about digital revolution in economic, social and cultural fields, and bequeaths today’s accountant with the responsibility to improve on the skills to remain relevant.

With the recognition of the accounting discipline as an information system, he said, the accountants can’t undermine the influence that the changes in processes of carrying out transactions with the usage of IT in business operations.

In a bid to keep up with changing conditions and the enabling inclusion of information era the need to embrace the digital culture in accountancy can’t be overlooked especially in medium to large scale business.

“Technology should not be viewed as a threat rather tools to boost accounting profession. Digitization is the future; as accountants we can’t run from it. Yes, manual processes are ridden with high risks on accounting and costly. Thus, changes is the environment necessitates changes in applicable accounting tools and skills required to carry out accounting roles”, Olanrewaju said.

Determinants of business that qualify as medium to large include: IT staff & skills including several specialists, multiple locations, large capex in relation to other businesses in operation in the same industry and business with main considerations for technology purchases being advanced features and security.

Using the acronym: VUCA- Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous situations, he reminded the participants that, roles of accountants have changed overtime, demanding for real-time ‘results’. “The environment demands you react quickly to ongoing changes that are unpredictable; it requires you to take action. Therefore, there is little you can achieve today in the ‘VUCA’ world without digitization”.

The keynote speaker also applauded Sage X3 offering, such as robust accounting processes; consistency; time saving; delivers visible metrics; helps to improve operational efficiency and assists users to be in line with government regulations and international accounting rules.

Participants at the interactive session with other C-level ACCA members also learnt how Sage X3 offers the bedrock of the adjustments required in today’s accounting field.

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E-Financial

CBN 14% Interest Rate: Investors Still Expecting Cut

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Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at FXTM.

By peter oluka

Nigeria’s central bank has yet again left benchmark interest rates unchanged at 14% in November amid a ‘fragile’ economic recovery.

But, Lukman Otunuta research analyst ForexTimes, in his comment, believes investors are still keen on interest rate cut.

The apex bank also left the cash reserve ratio (CRR) at 22.5 percent.

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele made this known on Tuesday while announcing the decision of the committee in Abuja.

Emefiele said only one of the nine members of the committee voted against the decision.

“Inflation in particular requires very close monitoring to gain clarity on the medium-term optimum path of monetary policy,” Emefiele told a news conference.

The monetary Policy Committee had begun its last meeting for the year on Monday.

According to the committee, the interest rate was held to prevent exchange rate pressure.

Commenting on the decision by the apex bank, Otunuga said, “With GDP growth in the third quarter rising by 1.40%, it seems that the central bank is hesitant to take action anytime soon.

“I believe that Nigeria’s improving economic landscape, and signs of inflationary pressures easing, are likely to support investor expectations of a rate cut.

“With inflation in Nigeria at 15.91%, there is a suspicion that the CBN may be waiting for a more sustained decline before moving ahead with rate cuts to support economic growth.

“As the year slowly comes to an end, investors will continue to observe Nigeria’s hard economic data and inflation figures for hints as to when the CBN might act in 2018”.

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E-Financial

Bitcoin Smashes Through $8,000 for the First time

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Bitcoin hit a new record high on Monday after smashing through the $8,000 level for the first time over the weekend, marking an almost 50 percent climb in just eight days.

The new high came after leading U.S. payments company Square Inc said late last week that it had started allowing select customers to buy and sell bitcoins on its Cash app.

Bitcoin traded as high as $8,197.81 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, up over 2 percent on the day and around 48 percent up since dipping to $5,555 on Nov. 12.

An eye-watering eightfold increase in the value of the volatile cryptocurrency since the start of the year has led to muliple warnings that the market is in a bubble, and institutional investors are broadly staying away.

Retail investors, however, as well as some hedge funds and family offices, are piling into the market. The “market cap” of all cryptocurrencies hit an all-time high of over $242 billion on Monday, according to trade website Coinmarketcap.

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