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December 16, 2020 - One year after its initial entrance into the Nigerian market, a pioneering fintech startup, Shago Payments, officially launches.
Shago maintains a culture of holding an annual reorientation session for
workers to remind them of the organization's vision, mission, and goals.
During this year's session, the Shago brand standards were given by Linda Ahaneku, the Chief Operating Officer, who stressed the importance of staff members seeing themselves as brand ambassadors. According to her, this is important since the brand begins with them, and their behavior in and outside the workplace determines how people perceive the brand.
Joy Igbinoba, Human Resource Lead, also spoke on the company culture. She mentioned that as the company grows, its culture also grows. She also read to the team an updated culture adopted by the company.
Diana Ekpat, Brand & Communication Lead, took the team through the company's updated communication strategy and the events that the company would be sponsoring in the coming quarter to create more visibility.
Rounding up the session, the MD/CEO expressed his profound appreciation to the team, stating how pleased he was to share this vision with the team, as well as the progress made so far. He encouraged everyone to remain united and focused, adding that each person's efforts had been noticed and would not go unrewarded.
"Afterward, the team members were allowed to air any problems or challenges they may have faced. In this light, several team members expressed their satisfaction with the management's intentions for the staff. In addition, they expressed their willingness to put in their best effort, work with the company, and build a brand that is worthy of emulation.
The reorientation thereafter ended with all staff members excited and energised to put in their best to achieve set targets."
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Bringing good tidings to your screen.
As they say, "your health is your wealth", and good health cannot be taken for granted. Still on the journey to create value for our users and the underserved market, we are glad to present our health insurance product - Shago Health.
Shago health powered by Wellahealth is a health protection plan that is structured to provide affordable access to high-quality health care anywhere in Nigeria, leveraging a vast network of community pharmacies. With just N1,300, you gain access to free medical plan plus; Malaria test + treatment, Diabetes screening, Telemedicine, Covid-19 helpline, heart disease screening, health loans, and so much more.
New Product Alert!
You can now register for your 3rd party insurance on the Shago platform. With this, you stay two steps ahead of any unforeseen damage that may occur in the future. Remember, no better assurance like insurance.
As an innovative company, we embrace growth as it comes.
That’s why we spend time strategising on how to continuously improve
the quality of our service to our customers and
increase our brand loyalty.
On this note, we introduce our mobile application, designed with class and comfort with an improved user experience and journey. Something is cooking in our software laboratory and would come your way soon.
Shago and Chisco is on the move with a thrilling offer. All Chisco ticketing service for local and international bus trips is now available on the Shago platform. If you going on a road trip for business of vacation, with simple and quick steps on Shago, your journey is secured.
December 16, 2020 - One year after its initial entrance into the
market, a pioneering fintech startup, Shago Payments, officially
Founded by Sabastine Enechi, Shago Payments offers integrated financial tech solutions that are tailored majorly for Nigeria’s underserved and unbanked population.
Speaking at the launch, which was attended by many dignitaries, Enechi attributed the success of Shago to the collaborative efforts and support from corporate partners. He added that innovation is key and is equally an essential driver of its business module, which integrates different financial products and services.
Also speaking at the launch, the Group Head, Digital Banking at Providus Bank Plc., Mr Frank Atat, buttressed the importance of collaboration. According to him, collaboration is very essential for product longevity and sustainability, especially when drafting a long-term plan. “It is important to recognise that the need to collaborate will always bring opportunities for partners. “The collaborative support helps save cost among other benefits including the ability to scale faster in the market,” Frank said. He went ahead to dispel the notion that banks are threatened by platforms offering digital solutions. Rather, he believes that platforms like Shago are mostly ready to collaborate, a move that allows for co-existence in the financial industry.
Another speaker, Mr Kayode Ariyo, Director, Global Accelerex, commended the startup for its resilience, considering Shago launched during one of the most critical moments in human history. He said, “Surviving the heated moment of the pandemic as a startup is a major milestone for the company that is worth emulating.” He further acknowledged how innovation has made life easier, with complex analogue machines being replaced with portable digital alternatives.
Founded on January 1, 2020, the platform doubles as an e-commerce
platform, enabling merchants to enlist their products and services for
Despite the constraint faced during launch due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shago Payments registered clients grew by 3000 in the initial 12 months, channelling over N7 billion in 2020 alone.
According to Shago founder Mr Sabastine Enechi, the platform focuses on adding 10,000 more clients with at least 200 e-businesses in the short term.
However, the platform is currently connected directly to over 25 billers who carry out transactions through Shago’s App and WEB channels around the clock while earning an instant commission on every successful transaction carried out on the platform. Unlike any other platform, the ease of doing business with Shago is seamless, and this is attributed to the platform’s stability with 99.9% uptime and 24/7 customer and operation support.
More so, Shago has, in its short period of existence, earned a couple of corporate partnerships with the likes of PTSPs, Banks, Digital services, and Telcos, further making transacting on the platform a lot more convenient.
In the future, Shago plans to work with CBN, SANEF, and EfiNA to be a part of the bigger picture – achieving financial inclusion in Nigeria.
In recent times, the global financial space has become more stiffened
overwhelmingly competitive, thanks to the emergence of alternative
Financial technology (fintech) firms, for example, have repeatedly shown to be a powerful force that cannot be suppressed in the quest to reengineer the global financial system. Leveraging on cutting-edge technologies, fintech firms are rapidly changing the scope of modern banking and consumer behaviour by offering innovative yet simple solutions. Simple solutions like bankless transaction, mobile transaction, and lower barriers when accessing funds, among others, have now become remedies to several challenges that have plagued traditional banking until recently.
However, fintech companies have built a new structure around these solutions, making them even more accessible and straightforward for the use of the general public, who are progressively adapting to the new banking reality.
Financial technology firms have also played an active role in filling the gap between financial access and financial inclusion, which appears to be a common concern among many nations, including Nigeria.
Specifically, only about 44% of Nigerian Adults, put at 99.6 million as of September 27, 2020 (according to world population review), have their bank accounts linked to a unique Bank Verification Number (BVN).
This further suggests that around 56% of Nigerian adults, and possibly more based on lower age demographics, are still unbanked.
In comparison, Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) puts the figure of unbanked Nigerians at 60 million (60%) in 2018, suggesting that only 4 million adults or thereabout gained access to financial services or products within the last two years.
Although this broadly indicates that there is still a lot of ground to be covered in terms of financial inclusiveness, the notable impact of fintech solutions cannot be undermined as they have driven the majority of the growth captured above.
Interestingly, many corporate organisations and industry experts still believe that the fintech industry is merely scratching the surface of financial inclusion in Nigeria.
Currently, the Nigeria fintech landscape is made up of close to 250 fintech companies; three key stakeholders, including banks, telcos, and the government; and four enablers and funding partners (i.e. Universities and research institutions, investors, incubators, technology, and consumers) who have heavily invested over $250 million since 2014.
Relative to the global market, Nigeria has barely made half of the 1% contribution to the over US$100B that has been invested in fintech globally; hence, it is arguably correct that the fintech in the country is still taking baby steps.
However, the Nigeria fintech industry is continually striving to make a difference, especially in complementing the gaps left by the traditional banking structure. Also, despite being an emerging market, Nigeria fintech space is expected to take a major leap from its current status; recent research by Frost and Sullivan forecasts a revenue peak of about US$543.3 million in 2022 from around US$200 million recorded in 2018.
This projection is fueled by a lot of factors; first, by some attractive fundamentals in the country, such as a youthful and tech-savvy population. Secondly, there has been an enormous attraction of both foreign and local investors who are willing to stake massively in the country’s growing tech ecosystem.
Other factors that tend to accelerate the growth of fintech firms also include increasing smartphone penetration, currently put at 143 million as of December 2020, coupled with a focused regulatory drive capable of boosting financial inclusion and cashless payment. As of now, fintech solutions in Nigeria is broadly categorised into four major integrated entities – payment & transfers; savings & investment; insurance; and lending.
Other categories, such as remittance and cryptocurrency, are also starting to gain a lot of attention and traction. As for Shago Payments, the fintech startup majorly focuses on payment, transfers, savings, investment, and e-commerce, five factors around which the company’s operation is built.
As a fintech firm or related platform offering financial products and
services such as earlier discussed, it is essential to understand the
market wherein it operates clearly.
Also, a fintech firm must look beyond the fundamental growth-driven factors in terms of demographic advantage and a wild gap between financial access and inclusiveness, both of which are sufficient to drive significant growth for a company if well utilised.
On the other hand, the firm must be willing to explore other crucial market opportunities such as product innovation and strategic partnership with finance-driven corporate organisations, including banks.
Furthermore, the firm must also be willing to build a structure, not just offline, but rather a mix of physical and digital (online), while ensuring that there are next to zero barriers to its products and services.
Technology-wise, a fintech firm must - by all means possible - avoid staying obsolete in terms of technology adoption, since this is one of the most significant advantages enjoyed in the field.
There are currently four key emerging technologies mostly adopted by the majority of the fintech players. They include Application Program Interface (API), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Distributed Ledger Technology, and Biometrics.
According to EFInA, fintech is segmented based on the technologies mentioned above, and the most important of them all globally is AI.
Notably, the Nigeria fintech space is dominated by market segment API, followed by market segment AI, DLT, and Biometrics. In comparison, the most relevant segments for financial inclusion globally are in market segment digital banking and technological segment distributed ledgers, APIs, and Biometric.
Overall, it is important that a firm is up to date in its adoption of any of these forms of technologies to stay afloat in the rapidly emerging market.
Lastly, some major key trends have been observed in the Nigeria fintech space, and although some are favorable, others may pose as major limitations in terms of efficiency. Specifically, there has been an increase in loan and savings players, implying that the market will get more stiffened and competitive sooner rather than later.
There has also been an increase in fintech-banks partnership, a move that many industry experts believe to be healthy for co-existence in the financial industry generally. Telco providers are also not left out in the struggle to stay relevant as critical players are now offering competitive solutions such as mobile money. Furthermore, there has been a continual adoption of new and innovative solutions, which has caused older ones to quickly become obsolete.
In the same vein, the talent gap is increasing due to the emergence of new fintech solutions. The reason for this revolves around the fact that specialists are quick to migrate to more developed markets, hence, leaving the former vacancy for either no one to fill or perhaps at the hands of fairly-skilled engineers.
In conclusion, fintech thrives where there is a wide gap between financial access and inclusion. While regulations can limit their scope of operation, they are capable of providing complex and long-term solutions.
To flourish as a startup in the Nigerian financial sector, it takes more
than a strategic plan and, or positioning; nevertheless, Shago Payment,
unlike the vast majority, is challenging the status quo.
Arguably true, the Nigerian financial technology (fintech) industry is rapidly evolvinng, capitalizing on fundamental issues associated with the legacy banking system.
Take for instance, the inaccessibility of banking services, particularly in rural areas, poor user experience or perhaps constant delay in processing transactions either at the counter or behind a long queue.
Guess what? These are just little among several other challenges facing the unbanked and underserved population when they sort to carry out transactions on a daily basis.
Although the adoption of fintech solutions in Nigeria are long overdue and mostly required for everyday financial transactions, considering the level of technology advancement around the globe, they are often perceived as a disruptive innovation in the regional financial space.
Interestingly, the inception of fintech solutions have further exposed the redundant nature of the traditional banking system, allowing for the rapid growth experienced in the fintech space.
Also, the ripple effect of the booming fintech market on the Nigeria economy, although enormous, is mostly underspoken - a narrative that is about to change with the entrant of Shago Payments amongst others.
Currently, the Nigeria fintech ecosystem is made up of over 200 standalone companies alongside a couple of fintech solutions offered by banks and mobile network operators as an inclusive part of their product portfolio.
As a result of its enabling environment, Nigeria’s bustling fintech space attracted over $600 million in funding between 2014 and 2019. In 2019 alone, Nigeria attracted 25% (aprox $122 million) of the total $491.6 million raised by tech startups across the African region.
While Nigeria was not the biggest gainer in the said year, it was second only to Kenya which attracted an additional 5% to cap a total investment of $149 million In the same vein, there has been quite an enormous investment pumped into the Nigeria fintech scene even in recent time, and it will only get better with time.
As of now, industry experts are of the opinion that fintech firms are merely scratching the surface of financial inclusion in Nigeria, further suggesting that there are yet a lot of untapped opportunities.
At a time when there are an influx of players in the Nigeria fintech space, it is essential for corporate firms to define their proposition, while putting their best foot forward.
The forgoing part of this article will highlight the major market proposition put to use by Shago Payments and how it intends to thrive in the highly saturated fintech space alongside its frontline competitors.
Shago Payments was initially registered in July 2018, however, became
operational on the 1st of January 2020, after which it publicly launched
on the 16th of December 2020.
The fintech startup set out into the Nigeria market at a time many would deem impossible as a result of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that struck the world unexpectedly. As if that was all it takes to scale at the initial stage, Shago Payments persisted amidst all odds, most of which were built on the back of the nationwide lockdown measure imposed by the Nigeria federal government.
During the first six (6) and twelve (12) months of operation, the company was able to record approximately N1.7 billion and N7.9 billion in transaction volume, respectively. Currently, Shago Payments now completes an average monthly transaction volume of about 1.7 billion with plans to double that number by the end of the year.
In addition, in its first year, the fintech company was able to establish a nationwide agent network with over 3000 registered members. In the most recent development, Shago Payments now has over 4000 registered agents in the field, bringing the monthly transaction volume closer to N2 billion.
In comparison, not many financial firms could claim of these numbers at such an early stage of operation, especially given the restrictions imposed by the current epidemic. Shago has been able to achieve this in bearly 15 months of entering the market.
Among other things, partnership is quite a big deal for Shago Payment who have since launch, established corporate partnerships with at least 10 banks. More so, the platform has over 25 billers as well as over 15 corporate entities registered as B2B resellers for Shago Payments offerings.
Shago Payments will provide personalized services. In order to address key issues such as financial inclusion in Nigeria, it is critical to develop tailored solutions capable of addressing the user's everyday needs. Shago Payments is a financial technology solution provider that prioritizes its customers and is strategic about its products and services. The integrated platform offers unique services such as C’Gate cardless POS, and prepaid health plans, both of which are rare to come by on other platforms that offer similar solutions.
Furthermore, Shago Payments provides a diverse range of 13 products and services, which is almost double the typical offering on most platforms.
The need for the aforementioned stems from an in-depth study and understanding of the market within which it operate; one that is made up of diverse people with different needs.
To meet the needs of its users, Shago Payments services are suited for three different groups of people– the banked, underserved, and unbanked – while addressing their unique needs.
Ultimately, offering financial solutions isn't enough; rather, delivering unique services that caters for different categories of users makes our work as a targeted service provider much simpler.
Although access to financial services is undoubtedly a major barrier to
financial inclusion, it may surprise you to hear that trust likewise
plays a significant role in financial service adoption. The lack of
trust in a fintech business ultimately impact financial inclusion.
Sadly, getting people to put their trust in fintech entities has
been a challenge over the past decade. Notably, most people, tend to
believe in what they see over what they cannot.
In context, for the majority, trusting the legacy ‘brick and mortar’ banks is way easier than trusting the bulk of players in the fintech industry who barely have a single physical office.
According to a report by McKinsey, customer adoption of fintech is largely driven by access and convenience with trust playing a critical role.
Despite consumer dissatisfaction with legacy banking services and the intervention of fintech products to solve these pain points, the transition to fintech is hardly a stroll in the park for many people, according to the report.
Access, convenience, value, affordability, and other factors (including trust) all play a key role in fintech adoption, according to the research.
Among these factors, access & convenience were the highest contributors, collectively accounting for roughly 57% of the reasons for fintech adoption.
While value and price contributed 29% and 13% respectively, trust among other unspecified factors contributes the least to the quota.
On the back of these stats, most fintech companies have shifted their focus to delivering on other fronts where trust isn't as important. For instance, fintech companies are very big on delivering outstanding user experience, affordability (i.e, little or no transaction charges), and most importantly, easy-to-access services, the majority of which are lacking by most legacy banks.
How to resolve distrust in the fintech business
Although there are no easy ways to win consumers' trust, a fintech startup, for instance, may tackle the distrust issue regarding its own establishment by continually evolving and experimenting with new ideas.
To do this, a fintech company, especially startups, can employ some of the strategies utilised by large, well-established fintech firms. Some of these strategies include the establishment of transparency, localization, and partnership.
Another way to resolve distrust as a fintech company is by enlightening users about your security protocols, as well as embracing data protection policies.
Talking about Data protection, Fintech consumers place a great value on data security and are generally confident in it's safety only when it is safeguarded by a competent regulating agency.
Lastly, a fintech can resolve the issue of trust by paying attention to customers’ feedback. It is common knowledge that customers like to be heard, or perhaps feels like they are heard. This also goes without saying that a brand that listens is a brand that can be trusted.
The Role of Agent Networking in Gaining Consumers’ Trust
Besides all that has been said, there is one more important aspect of the fintech business that is capable of building trust among customers.
Namely agent networking, this particular approach, like the traditional banking framework, also leverages physical structure.
Notably, agent networking has proven to be beneficial in the provision of physical touchpoints for digital financial services, allowing users to engage with human agents.
While the bulk of fintechs' business models is future-proof, transiting from the "brick and mortar" banking system is a process that must be done gradually, especially in situations where trust is de facto.
To this end, Integrating an agent networking system might be of great help, and at the very least, restore trust among fintech customers who are still leaning toward the traditional banking system. Although this may not be the case in urban settings, it works rather well in rural regions.
Finally, like with financial inclusion, trust is critical to fintech adoption, and the sooner fintech players discover a sustainable way to build trust in consumers, the faster they can scale.
Every organization is defined not only by “what they do,” or “how they
do it” but most importantly “why.”
An organization that can provide an ideal answer to the “why” question may have just established the purpose of its establishment. Although the debate over organizational purpose is an age-long one, businesses are now, more than ever, paying closer attention to their role in running a corporate business.
Likewise, there is growing pressure on organizations to go beyond and above, albeit with a defined purpose, which in the long run is to contribute positively to society.
While the need for a well-defined purpose in a business is indisputable, employees are also caught between finding a purposeful life and working long hours, which can be challenging to achieve given the amount of time spent at work.
As a result, employees tend to concentrate their sense of purpose around the jobs they spend most of their time doing.
Moreover, there is already an unpleasant narrative about the corporate sector, as some perceive it as contemporary slavery, particularly in toxic workplaces or perhaps owing to the long hours spent at work.
By carving out a business purpose, which has recently become a growing trend in the corporate sector, employees tend to have a different view about employee-employer relationships, as well as workplace culture in general.
How purpose influences an organization’s culture
An organization’s purpose statement can influence the overall culture both positively and negatively. A well-defined organization’s purpose can boost team morale and foster healthy collaboration.
On the other hand, if poorly defined, it can limit individual output, or, influence employees' attitudes toward work negatively, and at worst, increase an organization's attrition rate.
Also, when employees can resonate with a purpose statement, they feel a sense of belongingness, and unconsciously exhibit a healthy attitude towards work which ultimately contributes to better workplace culture.
Why should a company care about purpose ?
Defining an organizational purpose is very critical, owing to the considerable impact on business, human resources, and customers.
And while it shouldn’t be merely written as a fancy phrase (i.e. vague), an organizational purpose should also represent the company's essence and much more, be aspirational, inspirational, and motivational.
Beyond its internal affairs, a company must also care about defining its purpose, because of the ripple effect on its product’s end-users. A report by McKinsey revealed that customers tend to boycott the products of companies whose values they view as contrary to their own.
Although it can be hard to satisfy the desires of every customer at times, defining a purpose that contributes positively to society, in the long run, makes it simpler to meet every customer, at a midpoint.
That said, an organization must endeavor to stay committed to its purpose, as it is critical for scalability.
How to come up with a company’s purpose
Usually, carving out a well thought out and tailored purpose may be challenging, as there are a lot of factors to be considered. More so, a company’s purpose is bigger than the entity itself; the product, services, technology, team members, and even the leadership team.
According to industry analysts, an organization's purpose is a deep reflection of its corporate entity, or what the company stands for. Depending on the circumstances, a company's purpose may show itself through changes in strategy, governance, or even public image.
To this end, a purpose should be capable of driving decisions and actions, both internally and externally. How? You may ask.
Some practical steps employed by top organizations when defining organizational purpose include;
i. Defining company’s essence,
ii. Incorporating the company’s core value,
iii. Use of simple and comprehensive language,
iv. Incorporating emotional element,
v. ensuring that fit into the company’s culture, and lastly vi. It must fit into the company’s culture.
Ultimately, the role of purpose in an organization is crucial, and it must be established such that it resonates with all the business's vital entities.