I’m excited to announce a new financial service inside BBM for Nigerians: Paycode. This service, from Interswitch Ltd, enables cardless cash withdrawal at ATMs as well as cardless/cashless payments in participating real-world stores. Nigerians can find Paycode on their Discover menu today.
As I’ve mentioned before, BBM has partnered with Interswitch to help us deliver payment services to our customers in Nigeria—one of our biggest markets worldwide. Interswitch currently provides BBM users with airtime top-up and a money transfer service. We just added Paycode to the portfolio. Next up is a bill payment solution that is coming later this spring.
These improvements are all part of our plan to establish BBM as a leading messaging platform for mobile payments, and further, to make BBM not only your favorite app, but also the gateway to your digital world.
Opportunities for Mobile Growth
Africa’s two biggest mobile markets, Nigeria and South Africa, are some of the key markets for BBM. (That’s no surprise, as Nigeria and South Africa are #2 and #3 on a list of most active internet-connected countries worldwide.) Both promise lots of growth for mobile services in the coming years.
Like most of the rest of the world, Africans are enthusiastic mobile users. According to Deloitte’s Game of Phones: Mobile Consumer Survey 2015/2016:
- More than half of consumers in the region check their phones within 5 minutes of waking up in the morning, and going to bed at night.
- Instant messaging has overtaken traditional text as the preferred method of communication in all African markets except Kenya and Uganda. Usage rates continue to grow in all markets.
- Consumption of internet media via mobile devices is also on the rise. News (text and video) and other short-form video are the most popular content, followed by music streaming.
- Africans are interested in mobile money solutions, both payment and transfer services. The study showed 50% or more are willing to use these kinds of services.
For all these reasons, plus the knowledge we’ve gained from serving our African customers for years, we’re working hard to make BBM a hub for all this activity—and more.
More Services Coming Soon for Nigeria and South Africa
We’ll be bringing new content and services to Africans this year at a steady clip. In Nigeria, we’re working with Interswitch and other partners to introduce travel services, lottery sales, shopping, food delivery, sports betting, hotel booking and ticket purchasing for movies and other events.
South Africans will soon get to enjoy multiple types of video, games and editorial such as content about sports, lifestyle, culture, music, entertainment, kids, food, and cars.
If you’re in Nigeria, be sure to try Paycode today. We’ll let you know here as we release the other services we have lined up this year, so keep checking back.