By IMFBlog

June 23, 2017

Tayo Oviosu at IMF lecture (photo: Ryan Rayburn/IMF staff)

Worldwide, more than two billion people are without bank accounts, and only one in three adults in sub-Saharan Africa has access to any type of financial services. In this podcast, Tayo Oviosu, founder and CEO of Nigeria's leading mobile payment platform, Paga, reveals how his company is rapidly bringing millions of unbanked Nigerians into the banking fold.

“The impact of Paga has been in bringing financial services to the mass market, and into every neighborhood and community in Nigeria,” Oviosu says. “We now have six million customers who are using our services to perform transactions on a daily basis.”

Paga, which started in 2012, has risen to the center of economic activity in Nigeria, helping to provide jobs and access to financial services, particularly among youth.

“The beauty of having a population where about 54 percent are below the age of 33 is that we can focus on the youth who are more comfortable online, whereas adults would more likely want to go to an agent for their services,” he says.

Paga’s success is also helping to drive national discussions to improve banking regulations and privacy and protection laws and collect financial data in Nigeria.

“We are collecting a lot of data [on our mobile platform], so we have to think of privacy, the right way to handle this data, and whether it’s regulated correctly,” Oviosu says. “We want to make sure that regulation protects people.”

You can watch the webcast of the IMF/World Bank 2017 Spring Meetings seminar on digital financial inclusion in Africa, and read the IMF Managing Director’s recent blogs on financial technologyfintech.