When talking about Fintech founders who have gained ground in Africa, Tayo Oviosu’s name cannot be overlooked. He founded Paga, a mobile payments company in 2009 to enable universal access to financial services for Nigerians. Paga serves as a mobile wallet where any user equipped with a mobile device can conduct transactional activities using their device.
Oviosu founded Pagatech Limited and serves as its Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors. He earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California. He also has a Master’s in Business Administration from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. His name will be ranked top among innovators in the fintech industry in Nigeria and Africa at large. Paga was founded in Nigeria in 2009 and publicly launched in 2011.
Early Professional Career
He served as a Manager, Corporate Development, at Cisco Systems in San Jose California where he was responsible for strategy, acquisitions, and private equity investments in four technology sectors – Virtual Computing, Application Networking, Security, and Network Management. He also helped lead Cisco’s investment expansion in Africa. At Cisco, he led numerous acquisition and private equity investment opportunities, including the $130m acquisition of Reactivity, and investments in Aquantia (10G Base-T, Series A), and Guardium. He was also responsible for the private sale of 22% of Cisco’s South African operations to a consortium of investors in 2007. Prior to Cisco, he served as a Senior Consultant at Deloitte Consulting in the CRM and Technology practice. At Deloitte, he worked on cases in five industries – high tech, telecom, pharmacy retail, government, and healthcare. He was primarily responsible for leading technical implementation teams.
He relocated back to Nigeria in 2008 having worked for some 13 years in the United States, to be part of the economic development of the country. According to him, his personal mission was to help build the financial ecosystem in Nigeria.
Why Paga Was Developed
Paga was introduced in Nigeria to take advantage of the cash build-up in the system and to create a means whereby financial services are available to all. Although the banking sector in Nigeria is not easily accessible to everyone, the telecommunications industry has been more successful in reaching a large proportion of the country’s population. The collaboration of both the banking and telecom sector has given rise to mobile banking platforms like Paga, where a user can perform basic financial transactions with the use of a cell phone. Paga works through a mobile phone application or online through the company’s website.
How Paga Works
With Paga, customers are able to deposit and save money, purchase pre-paid phone credit, pay utility and cable bills, and make payments to retailers. The partnership between Paga and Western Union also has the added benefit where Western Money transfers sent to users can be deposited into the users’ Paga accounts.
Over the course of about six years, Paga has shown impressive growth, recording a milestone of 8,000,000 together with users at the end of 2017 and a sum total of approximately 42.7 million transactions till date, with a total value of over N660 billion.
The inspiring journey of industrious Tayo is one worthy of emulation and here’s hoping that budding techpreneurs can learn from this that they need to learn, grow and develop a valuable network in order to attain premium success in any field of endeavor, especially in the tech industry.