WhatsApp Pay in Nigeria: A Problem For Paystack, Flutterwave and Other Fintech Startups?

Thе financial market for ѕосiаl е-соmmеrсе in Nigеriа could ѕее a major diѕruрtiоn thiѕ уеаr. Thiѕ iѕ duе tо thе impending lаunсh оf WhаtѕAрр’ѕ digitаl рауmеnt ѕеrviсе, WhаtѕAрр Pау in the соuntrу.

According to a blog post released by the Facebook-owned company, the payment service has begun rolling out in Brazil and will roll out to more countries going forward.

Financial Market for Social e-commerce in Nigeria
Even before the pandemic, the increase in digitization and social media use significantly boosted the growth of e-commerce in Nigeria. Following the boost of e-commerce, platforms that offer payment services like Paystack received a major boost in its number of the transaction processed.

However, with one of the largest social media platforms, WhatsApp launching its own payment services, fintech companies that have benefited from processing social e-commerce transactions run the risk of losing a large number of their customers.

This is because WhatsApp giving people the option to pay for transactions in the same place they view and bargain for goods of services will entice a large number of users. This is in part because they don’t have to go through the hassle of signing-up or signing-in afresh into other payment platforms or gateways.

Another part is that e-commerce bots that help people shop and make transactions on Whatsapp will lose their importance with the app now having its own payment service.

Also, those that already have a good number of users also stand of risk of losing their market if WhatsApp chooses to block out third party bots now that it has similar services.

Following the launch of the payment service, the CEO of Techadvance, Edmund Olotu acknowledged the strong competition WhatsApp Pay posed while announcing the launch of his shopping bot, ‘buybot’.

Similar to buybot, there are several other fintech companies that will have to compete with WhatsApp Pay in social e-commerce when it launches in Nigeria. Here is a curated list of some of the fintech companies that will be affected.

Paystack
Paystack’s payment service helps businesses accept secure payments from both local and global payment channels. Creating an account is free but it charges a fee of 1.9% + ₦100 for local transactions and 3.9% + ₦100 for international card transactions. However, the ₦100 fee is waived for transactions less than ₦2500

Flutterwave
Flutterwave platform helps buyers make purchases in more than 156 countries. It accepts popular cards like Visa, MasterCard and Verve while making both local and international transactions. Creating an account is free but a fee of 1.4% + ₦50 is charged for local card transactions and 3.5% + $1(₦385.01) for international transactions.

Apart from the payment gateway, the fintech startup has a payment app called Barter which helps with social e-commerce transactions. The app would feel the effect of reduced e-commerce transactions if the WhatsApp digital payment service launches but it has other focus like the mobile money market and across border payment options that will rake in users. GetBarter charges roughly 40 Naira or 11 cents per transaction.

Interswitch
Interswitch has two different services (WebPay or Webpaydirect) that allow businesses and individuals to pay for goods and services online. It also allows transactions using different cards both local and international. for transactions, a fee of 1.5% is charged with the cap set at N2,000.

The Startup also has a payment app called Quickteller used for social e-commerce transactions. Although its volume of transactions might be affected by WhatsApp pay, it has services like payment of bills and airtime/data subscriptions among others that could help keep its customer base.

VoguePay
VoguePay uses its online payment gateway to help buyers and sellers complete transactions. It also accepts major cards like Visa and Mastercard for payments locally and internationally. Signing-up for a personal account is free but a fee of 2.5% is paid for local transactions while 4.5% is paid for international transactions.

Carbon Express
Carbon Express is a service by Carbon that allows users to make payments on social platforms. A service like Carbon Express removes the need to leave WhastApp before completing transactions.

However, the service is now at the risk of being booted out since WhatsApp now has its own service.

In conclusion, players in the fintech sector have to start planning for the eventuality that WhatsApp Pay is coming to Nigeria and it will significantly affect the market.

Although some fintech may enjoy the loyalty of customers when the payment service enters the market, the ease of making payment on WhatsApp may become a stronger aphrodisiac.

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