Mobile and online payments have really improved in the last decade. Before, we used to have the international payment gateways being integrated with local e-commerce sites, and they control our market.
In some cases, we would have to make payment in dollars and receiving funds from international partners was a real pain in the ass.
In the last ten years, our indigenous startups that stood up to the challenges are now making a big wave in FinTech.
Here today, we have one of the best payment gateways in Nigeria in our CEO digest, and we’ll be discussing the journey so far.
You’re welcome on board today, kindly introduce who you’re and your firm?
My name is Adesina Akomolafe. I’m the chief operations officer of VoguePay.
Before joining the team, I have worked with leading technology companies in Nigeria.
This gives me a unique opportunity to continue the impressive work of the company leadership in building a payment platform that has become the payment bridge connecting Africa with the rest of the world.
VoguePay was established in the year 2012 to enable individuals and businesses in Nigeria to send and receive payments globally.
The company was founded by four Nigeria entrepreneurs – Leke Ojikutu, Michael Simeon, Geoffrey Weli Wosu, and Quam Ojikutu
The unique proposition of VoguePay in the early days in the early days of operations was to offer a PayPal alternative for Nigerians.
At the time, legacy payment gateways charged about $1,000 for their APIs but VoguePay offered its APIs for free.
We also coded plugins that can be integrated with CMS such as WordPress, Joomla, and other content management software SMEs used in developing their websites.
In the first year of our operations, we recorded more than 17,000 small-and-medium enterprises that used VoguePay to send and receive payments.
Today, we’ve grown exponentially and had operational offices across the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Estonia, and Nigeria.
Voguepay has been around for some years now, what are the services you render?
VoguePay delivers a modern way of making and receiving payments globally.
On our PCI-DSS level 1 secured gateway, transactions are safer, cheaper and more accessible as we support millions of transactions annually.
In addition to payment processing, VoguePay is presently working towards launching VoguePay Digital (a borderless financial suite).
It is a digital bank built to serve both local and Diaspora’s personal and business financial needs.
The borderless banking suite will transform how people access account services, savings, loans and mortgages as we promote Intra Africa trade and travels.
This process started with the Central Bank of Bahrain’s regulatory nod for VoguePay to launch innovative payment solutions in the MENA region.
What are the differences between personal and business accounts?
Users can create an account for personal use or for business purposes.
With a personal account, users can use the basic features of our payment engine to send and receive money locally and internationally.
For example, a personal account user can request payment directly from a social media platform by generating a payment link to send on Whatsapp.
Business users have access to powerful back-office business tools and analytics to manage their operations.
Some of these business tools include invoicing, customer insight, sales reports.
We also have a bulk withdrawal feature, which is suitable for paying your staff salaries.
And also, a tool to help you sell downloadable products such as ebooks, e-pins, etc, and many more features.
For each user category, VoguePay has a simple onboarding process that enables users to update their KYC to meet the statutory requirements.
Voguepay accepts international payment, what are the card payment and online payment processors do you allow?
At the moment, we support all card schemes (majorly Mastercard and VISA).
We also support other means of payment via bank transfer and USSD payment.
Kindly discuss briefly the steps involved to start using voguepay to accept payment and withdraw it?
- To start accepting payment with VoguePay, the first step is to signup for a free account.
- This is followed by a simple KYC onboarding where necessary account info is submitted for verification.
- For business account users, the next step will be to integrate our payment plugins and extensions.
We have developed a detailed guide for all these steps on our website.
More so, our customer support team is always available to assist with these processes where help is needed.
How do you secure the funds and data of your clients from crackers?
VoguePay is a PCI DSS level 1 certified financial institution.
This means that we have bank-grade level security for all financial transactions on our gateway.
Our bespoke security algorithm, transaction monitoring and friendly protection policies for both buyers and sellers are part of our measures to protect the financial integrity of our gateway.
We would like you to mention some of your business partnerships and awards?
Today, VoguePay has scaled up to over 100,000 merchants in key markets like North Americas, South Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa that use our payment services.
This has won us several industry recognitions including an award rated by Forbes Magazine as one of the most prestigious award ceremonies that represent the whole of the African continent.
VoguePay has been duly recognized for outstanding leadership in payment innovation, with more than 12 global awards.
The most recent ones being the coveted “African Fintech Company of the Year” award at British Award for African Development and the African Ambassadors and Diaspora Interactive Forum in 2019.
In previous years, VoguePay has worked with and has been recognized by leading financial institutions like Central Bank of Bahrain, Interpol, Central Bank of Nigeria and other government institutions.
What’s still your biggest challenge and what are your plans to overcome it?
One of the biggest challenges in the tech space generally is talent.
A lot of our local developers are looking for greener pastures outside the country, the immediate impact is the huge cost of attracting and retaining these talents.
Also, as a tech company, you still have to deal with the everyday reality of managing people, working with regulators and infrastructure limitations.
What’s the next big thing to expect from Voguepay to achieve and where do you see the company in the next five years?
We have a lot in pipelines. We will definitely announce them when the time is right.
It has been wonderful speaking with you, What role do you expect the Nigerian government to play in improving cashless transaction in Nigeria?
Already, the government is driving the cashless initiatives through policies that discourage cash.
For example, extra charges apply for cash deposits beyond the threshold set by CBN.
Also, the recent reduction of charges for ATM transactions and card maintenance is the right move.
It is obvious that CBN is open to feedback which is reflected in the directive to remove extra N50 on POS transactions.
I’m confident that the agency banking drive will have a direct implication on the adoption of cashless as many people can conveniently pay for products and services with money in their mobile money wallets.
How would your potential clients get to you?
They can as well reach out to us via email and call line displayed on our website.