PayU Extends Capacity Through “Pay by USSD”, “Scan to Pay” in Nigeria


PayU, the online payment service provider operating in 50 emerging markets has announced extending its capabilities through Pay by USSD and Scan to Pay in Nigeria.

The Netherlands-based firm is also strengthening its foothold in Africa with expansion into Ghana and a number of strategic product updates – Payflex in South Africa.

USSD allows users without a smartphone or data/internet connection to access mobile banking through a *99# code for fund transfers, checking account balances, and generating bank statements, among other uses.

While Africa’s internet economy will more than double in value over the next three years, certain countries in the region are still lagging behind on affordable data with Nigeria charging an average of $0.88 per gigabyte.

PayU’s goal is to build a world without financial borders and this solution is indicative of how PayU is offering cutting-edge technology to promote financial inclusion even in unbanked sectors of society.

Scan to Pay is a popular method in Nigeria, which allows merchants to display a QR code that supports Visa and MasterPass through local QR codes. This means that businesses and consumers alike can avoid unnecessary third-party involvement and fees by allowing their customers to scan a QR code with their banking apps and pay directly from their bank accounts.

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Unlike many other payment methods, Scan to Pay does not require infrastructure traditionally associated with electronic payments such as payment cards, payment networks, terminals, and business accounts.

By introducing the ability to tap into these innovative and popular payment methods, PayU’s customers are now able to provide a better and more inclusive experience in their online shops with popular and accessible local payment methods. These solutions will help both local and global SMBs by increasing their consumer reach and building customer loyalty through preferred payment methods – this in itself is key in converting sales.

In addition to this, PayU now offers Ghana a new market for its merchants to expand into, via a single integration through the PayU Hub. Merchants can now offer Ghanaian shoppers the ability to pay by card, and popular local mobile money payment methods such as MTN MoMo, Vodafone Cash, Tigo Pesa, and more.

Karen Nadasen, CEO, PayU South Africa: “At PayU, we pride ourselves on our global reach and local expertise. We are always looking for ways to improve our services and ensure that our merchants have the tools to expand into new markets. We are also dedicated to enabling alternative methods of payment, catering to the preferences and needs of consumers in each market.

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That is why we are excited to announce these developments in Africa. Enabling access to popular local payment methods or even more specific-to-market alternative payment methods such as MTN MoMo, is key for our merchants to flourish in this region.”

Mario Shiliashki, Global CEO of PayU’s payments division adds: “At PayU, we strive to provide the best online payment experience for our merchants and consumers across all our markets.

Our recent product updates and partnerships in Africa reflect our aim is to serve the needs of our merchants, particularly during these times of economic uncertainty, to help build their businesses, drive growth, and further delight online shoppers. We pride ourselves in being able to introduce new product offerings that enable both our partners and the consumers they serve to move closer towards full financial inclusion.”

Across Africa, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services are gaining traction with digitally savvy and unbanked populations looking to leverage the installment-based payment solution. Launched in 2019, Payflex is considered the first and largest BNPL player in South Africa.

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During times of economic volatility, the possibility of staggering product payments has never been more attractive to consumers around the world. Payflex is just one addition to PayU’s already wide range of credit offerings including Mobicred, Lulalend, and RCS.

Through PayU’s partnership with Payflex, consumers in South Africa now have the ability to pay in four equal and interest-free installments, creating greater access to funding and autonomy on how consumers pay.

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