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Every transaction requires some form of payment, whether through manual or electronic means; hence, thousands of payments are carried out on a daily basis for manifold purposes. Given these stats, businesses of various categories have to beef up their payment services to foster efficiency and timeliness for the sake of smooth business transactions. Seeing the need for better payment services, Paystack, a fast-rising fintech startup and no stranger to the success that has followed Nigerian tech startups in recent times, emerged to help businesses get paid.

Founded by Shola Akiknlade (CEO) and Ezra Olubi (CTO), Paystack has been nothing short of remarkable since it began operations; the startup has raised seed funding amounting to $1.3 million through international investors including Tencent (the owners of WeChat), Comcast Ventures and Singularity Investments. Aside from being worthy of the attention of Venture Capitalists, Paystack was one of the first Nigerian start-ups to get admitted into Y Combinator’s (the American Seed accelerator known for its role in the growth of some world-class companies like RedditAirbnb, Stripe, and many more) accelerator programme in winter 2016. This was a benchmark for Nigerian start-ups as it paved the way for them to get the international exposure they needed to succeed.

How It All Began

Prior to starting Paystack, both founders, Shola and Ezra, had worked for some Nigerian banks; Ezra worked with Jobberman and then Delivery Science while Shola was working on Precurio – an Intranet Software. Thanks to this work experience,  Shola gained insight into simpler means to charge a card while working on customer software for a Nigerian Bank.  In his words “I called a team of people and then realized there was scope, and if we can charge a card directly then we could solve all these other payment processes around it. That’s how the name Paystack came about – it’s a stack of tools to help merchants accept payments.”

Making The Process Of Accepting Payments Simpler

Essentially, Paystack enables businesses across Nigeria to send and accept payments from all over the world. With a highly optimised system in place, Paystack boasts of being the most reliable payments gateway for business to receive their payments with ease. In addition to its payment services, Paystack also helps businesses by providing them with tools like data, performance, and reconciliation. Paystack has reached up to 9000 businesses from different states in Nigeria including the likes of Domino’s PizzaGIGM, and Axa Mansard Insurance. The mode of payments it provides has made it possible for businesses which wouldn’t have ordinarily thrived before it came into existence. In the past, businesses like Save and Buy – a virtual savings platform launched to enable users save towards the products they love in a convenient and fun manner – which was founded in 2013, had major issues with payment. This is due to the fact that the online payments in Nigeria usually involve a painful process and this posed a problem for end users and merchants alike. But with Paystack, businesses like Piggybank – an online and mobile app savings platform – don’t encounter these problems because their debit system relies on Paystack which supports recurring billing. Presently, Paystack caters to merchants in Nigeria but it’s spreading its tentacles to other countries like Ghana and Kenya.

A company like Paystack has the potential to go global in the nearest future and become a strong competitor for international companies like Stripe and PayPal. This is a future Nigerians can anticipate.


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Samuel Okoruwa

My name is Samuel Okoruwa. I am an ardent researcher, reading is life and writing is fun.

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