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Exclusive: NearPays drive to shape the future of contactless payments in Nigeria

Meet NearPays a contactless payment platform, and how it looks to transform the transacting culture in Nigeria

It's been 14 years since the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS) introduced a real-time electronic payment system called the NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP). Ever since, digital payments and the Nigerian digital payment industry have experienced exponential growth, leading to innovation and deepening the financial inclusion drive across the country. According to Techcabal, the average number of times Nigerians did a digital transfer each month in 2023 was 818.4 million.

Undeniably, another milestone in the growth journey of digital payments is the rapid emergence of fintech startups in the industry. There are over 200 listed financial technology startups in Nigeria, and they have settled in as strategic players and agents of change in the ecosystem and the country's economic development.

One of these fantastic financial technology startups is NearPays, a full-service payment platform transforming the payment ecosystem with its tap-and-pay seamless technology founded by its CEO, Victor Daniyan, who sought a more ingenious solution to payments beyond the popular POS machines. As such, NearPays, to drive contactless payment, offers soft Point-of-Sale (POS) payments through smartphones, which enables users to scan debit cards with their phones for payments.

Intrigued by NearPay's innovative project, I chatted with Victor Daniyan.


NearPays Contactless Payment|Source: NearPays

According to Victor, being a founder of a logistics startup still doing well, he never wanted to do fintech. However, driven by the need to enhance the operations of his logistics startup during the cashless policy and cash crunch era in Nigeria, he sought a more innovative solution for transactions as they had to deal with continuous network issues using POS machines. After coming up with the prototype of NearPay, he discovered that other colleagues in the logistics industry faced the same challenge, and it was just brilliant to extend this unique solution to them. Over time, the solution was extended to businesses beyond logistics, seeing the need. Victor and his team would go on to make alterations that would improve and refine the user experience of NearPays products.


"First of all, NearPays is directly focused on financial inclusion. Of course, what the product is intended for is providing financial services with the best of technology everywhere. We are not just focused on urban areas; we want to go into the remote areas. Our vision is to use technology to capture everyone; everybody is on our map, and no one is excluded" -Victor Daniyan.
A merchant using Nearpay's Virtual POS|Source: LinkedIn

So far, NearPays has three major products: the virtual POS, the rural virtual POS and the corporate dashboard that help ensure no member of Nigeria's society is excluded. Hence, the startup believes every Nigerian can find one of the NearPay products that works for them. Nigeria is growing into the ranks of countries that support contactless payment; hence, a few debit cards are still not contactless. However, the startup's scan feature provides an alternative to address this challenge, allowing users to scan cards if the contactless feature does not work.


"Also, we are going into remote areas, places that a lot of fintechs startups don't even want to go into, and it is funny how many transactions are going on there. I will give credit to institutions like MTN MoMo, yes; they have also tried their best to get into areas like this. But there is a lot that is still pending. So those are areas that we are going. We are going into the deep remote regions" -Victor Daniyan.

Acknowledging the limitations in remote areas of the country, NearPays offers the Nearpays Rural Virtual POS (RVPos), which is an innovative technology designed to facilitate cashless transactions in rural areas where traditional banking infrastructure is limited. USSD is a text-based communication protocol that allows users to interact with a service provider's systems through a series of menus on their mobile phones.

This method of communication requires minimal data connectivity and is accessible on even the most basic mobile devices.

The RVPos can empower millions by offering convenient and secure payment solutions, transforming local economies, and fostering financial literacy.


"We are partnering with our regulators like the CBN to see how we can possibly have the required structure to enable our growth regarding contactless payment"- Victor Daniyan.
NearPays CEO Victor Daniyan|Source: LinkedIn

The NearPays CEO believes Nigeria is just getting started with contactless payment, especially with the CBN's just released guidelines on contactless payment earlier in June this year in the governing body's attempt to encourage the deployment of innovative products and sustain financial stability. According to the NearPays founder, there is a limitation to how much can be done to grow contactless payments when there are no existing structures. These guidelines, policies, and structures are crucial for fintechs like NearPays offering contactless payment to leverage. NearPays also partners with international institutions to ensure its contactless payment product is accepted beyond the Nigerian market.

Victor Daniyan believes that more and more fintech startups will soon embrace the virtual POS product powered by NearPays.


Victor Daniyan|Source: LinkedIn

Finally, on being asked about what he envisions Nigeria's digital payment ecosystem looking like next year, the NearPays' CEO said he sees a lot of disruption in the system. He believes that in 2024, the southwest region of Nigeria will not be the only ecosystem-producing startup doing great things. He believes the North, especially Abuja, would produce a thriving ecosystem. Noting that the new minister of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani, who was integral in the growth of many startups as the then co-founder of cc-Hub in Lagos and now being at the federal level, it is expected that he would help disrupt the long trend of Lagos being the most thriving ecosystem for startups.

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