•How The Digital Bank Hit 10 Million Subscribers…
..All Within 3 Years
PalmPay is popular among the young people in Nigeria, so much so that it hit 10 million subscribers within 3 years! This puts its customer numbers in the same league as major institutions only 3 years after it launched in the market.
When the company hit 10 million subscribers, Mr. Chika Nwosu, the MD said, “We are delighted to be able to celebrate this growth milestone and are proud of PalmPay’s track record of making cutting-edge financial services accessible to every Nigerian – including the unbanked.”
Mr. Nwosu also said, “The pandemic has accelerated the shift from cash to digital payments and we are looking forward to continuing to work together with regulators and our partners to innovate to meet the financial needs of consumers.”
On her part, Sofia Zab, PalmPay Global CMO, said, “Our significant growth in Nigeria demonstrates PalmPay’s ability to innovate to meet the financial needs of consumers, and we are looking forward to replicating this success as we scale in more markets across Africa.”
Unlike the older generations, most of the Millennial and Gen-Z consumers understand what it means to make and receive digital-payments and they love PalmPay for innovating in that space.
The company which launched in Nigeria in 2019, offers a digital first payment service through its app and other mobile payment services. Aside from the huge number of subscribers, which cannot be rivaled by some traditional banking institutions, PalmPay boasts of a mobile money agent network of 200,000!
PalmPay is pioneering financial inclusion for a lot of Nigerians who’re unbanked.
It’s the same situation in Ghana as the company also launched in that country in 2019.
So, why do young people love PalmPay?
They love its digital-first approach to making and receiving payments. This fits perfectly into their lifestyles as Millennials and members of the Gen-Z.
They’re unlike older citizens who’re used to traditional banking processes through paper forms and cheques and standing orders through account officers!
The younger generation would have none of that!
All they need is an app to manage their account and make transactions.
They don’t want bank staff to make their transactions on their behalf.
They prefer to take responsibility for their finances.
Yet another reason young people love PalmPay is the fact that it offers convenient and affordable digital payments.
The charges are negligible too!
No wonder the young are crazy about PalmPay!
For around 20% of them, the company says, “their PalmPay app is their first formal financial account.”
The company has grandiose goals to deppeen fincial inclusion among both individuals and businesses and it hpes to do so by “building out an online and offline payments ecosystem that brings together the best digital products from across the marketplace along with our own innovative features, and makes them available to anyone with a smartphone.”
Yet another reason the young love PalmPay is its simplicity!
All you need to have an account is a smartphone!
There’s no grandiose requirement!
You don’t have to get an arm and a leg to open an account as it’s the case with traditional banks.
Yet another reason young people are crazy about PalmPay is the fact that they earn from performing transactions.
In the course of investigating this story, City People spoke to Grace Fagbohun, an ardent user of PalmPay (and student of Lagos Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology).
She used to have an account with one of the traditional banks which her parents used to send her money for upkeep but the bank constantly deducted N300 every week as charges!
For a student, that amount means a lot!
She then complained to a colleague in school and that one introduced her to PalmPay which she has successfully been using to collect money from her parents and other people. When asked why she loves PalmPay, she says it’s because transfers are free on it. She also says she loves the freebies that come with using the app, as subscribers get free data for buying airtime on the app and even opening the app.
While noting that a lot of students are using PalmPay, Fagbohun says she earns N600 if someone joins through her affiliate link. And that the amount becomes N2000 when 4 persons join through her link.
While noting that the PalmPay is flexible to use, Fagbohun says she can collect her money from any POS by transferring or requesting the PalmPay ATM.
She says there are no specific POS points for fund collection.
Allowing existing subscribers to earn by recommending the service to their family and friends is a smart way to grow and PalmPay has leveraged this smartly.
In Nigeria, PalmPay offers 10% cash back on airtime purchases and bank transfer rates as low as 10 Naira ($.02).
Another reason for the company’s rapid growth is the fact that its app comes with every new TECHNO, INFINIX, and ITEL Mobile phone. The company attests to this growth strategy on its website.
In their words, “Thanks to our exclusive partnership with TECNO, INFINIX and ITEL Mobile, three popular mobile phone brands on the continent, PalmPay will come baked into the core user experience of new smartphone owners. So consumers are empowered with a bank in their pocket, out of the box.”
With this partnership, it becomes a natural progression for smartphone users to engage with the app, unlike a situation where they have to go look for the app, download it, and engage with it.
PalmPay is well-funded too!
It raised a US$100 million Series A round of funding in August 2021, with US$140 million raised in total.
The company is now operating in Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania, and will be scaling its proposition in other African markets as 2022 winds down.
All in all, the Fintech, which operates under a Mobile Money Operator license from the Central Bank of Nigeria, has gained significant traction with its payment app and nationwide agency banking network. Its proposition of instant financial account creation, fee-free bank transfers and cashback rewards on airtime and bill payments has appealed to Millennial and Gen-Z consumers, who are looking for more affordable banking options and prefer the convenience of a digital-first service.
Got no smartphone? PalmPay has got you covered!
Nigerians without smartphones can visit one of PalmPay’s 200,000 mobile money agents across the country, who can transact on their behalf or issue an innovative QR card that can be used to hold a balance. Consumers can also use PalmPay agents to deposit cash to their PalmPay accounts and to withdraw money using their debit cards through PalmPay-branded POS machines. This September, the company celebrated its 3rd year anniversary with a massive N300 million cash giveaway.
This involved the award of significant cash rewards and in-app coupons as a way to say thank you to its users. The 35-day anniversary campaign ran from Monday, September 5th through Monday, October 10th, 2022.
The MD, Mr. Chika Nwosu is eminently qualified too! He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Science from November 1995 to January 2000 at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT).
He worked in Huawei Technologies as a senior management staff and Techno Mobile Nigeria as well as Transsion, a Chinese mobile phone maker. The fund for its launch 3 years ago was a $40M round led by China’s Transsion.
In addition to Nigeria, PalmPay used the $40 million seed funding to grow its financial services business in Ghana. Nwosu has hands-on management experience and is leading PalmPay into greater heights in the Fintech space in Nigeria. Founded by Greg Reeve, a UK-based entrepreneur (now retired), PalmPay helps Africa with accessible financial services.
A January 2022 report by the Guardian said, “Nigeria is one of the top three unbanked countries in the world, with 40 per cent of its population without a bank account and out of the 59 million unbanked adults, 73 per cent do not have the requisite documents to open a tier-three bank account.”
PalmPay is helping with this deficit and one can only wish the company well as it makes giant strides in the Nigerian Fintech space.