culled from Thisday Newspaper
Online retailers like Jumia and Konga are making considerable inroads in Africa’s largest economy and with the exponential growth of other online transactions. PayPal has revealed that Nigeria has already grown to become its second largest market in Africa after South Africa, less than one year after it was launched in Nigeria. Making this known, Malvina Goldfield, PayPal Head of Business Development, sub-Saharan Africa, expressed satisfaction with PayPal’s acceptance in the country since its launch last year. “We are very happy to see that PayPal has been widely welcomed by Nigerians since the launch of the service in the country last year,” Goldfeld said. “Over time we plan to expand our service offering in Nigeria to include services that will lead to better experiences in online and mobile payment methods in Nigeria,” he added.
While PayPal customers in Nigeria can open an account and send money internationally for free, the company is yet to open up its payment gateway to merchants who want to receive money, a decision so many people are not happy with.
On this, Goldfield said: “Nigeria is a very interesting market and over time we may expand our presence, but for now we are satisfied to help Nigerians register for free for a PayPal account and make payments on overseas websites.” PayPal is an international digital wallet based e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. PayPal signed up tens of thousands of Nigerians in its first week of operating in Africa’s biggest economy, with consumers already purchasing items from Britain, China and the United States via its online platform, a company official said.
E-commerce remains in its infancy in most of Africa but is growing exponentially with the advent of online retailers such as Jumia, partly owned by South African phone operator MTN, and a growing middle class with money to spend.
Before the launch of PayPal, which is the payment unit for online auctioneer eBay Inc., Nigerians could not buy goods directly from foreign merchants.
PayPal entered Nigeria and 10 other nations last year, providing online payment alternatives for consumers via mobile phones or personal computers in markets often blighted by financial fraud. The new markets bring the number of countries PayPal serves to 203.