Firm seals fintech deal in Nigeria with Baxi acquisition
MFS Africa, a pan-African digital payments hub, has announced the signing of an agreement to acquire Baxi, one of Nigeria’s agent networks.
The deal, which is subject to approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), will be the second-highest fintech acquisition in Nigeria to date.
According to the MFS Africa, despite that Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy, with the highest number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the largest remittance market in Africa and home to one-third of intra-Africa remittance flows, its presence in Nigeria to date has been limited given the country’s small number of mobile wallets.
But with the completion of the deal, MFS Africa said it will expand its pan-African network into Nigeria, connecting the country’s businesses to the continent and the rest of the world and building Baxi into a key node on its digital payment network, allowing customers to make regional and global payments to and from Nigeria.
In addition, it would also expand Baxi’s proposition for offline SMEs to select markets within MFS Africa’s footprint of 320 million mobile wallets across more than 35 African countries.
With its presence in 36 Nigerian states, Baxi fills a critical gap by providing unbanked Nigerians and informal SMEs access to financial services.
MFS Africa Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Dare Okoudjou, said by combining Baxi’s network of SMEs operating as agents with its pan-African network, the company aims to take Nigeria’s SMEs to the rest of Africa and the world.
Baxi is one of Nigeria’s largest independent SME-focused electronic payment networks. It provides a cash-in/cash-out offering as well as value-added services, account opening, money transfer, bill payment and more to the last mile.
Through its network of more than 90,000 agents, Baxi has already processed over $1 billion in transactions this year. MFS said the focus areas of both companies are complementary. While Baxi simplifies and integrates online and offline payments for SMEs and merchants in Nigeria through its omnichannel distribution network, MFS Africa simplifies cross-border payments, integrating payments via one hub.
Baxi Chief Executive Officer, Degbola Abudu said: “We’re thrilled to partner with the MFS Africa team to expand our service offering for individuals and SMEs. We believe that we’ve barely scratched the market’s potential.
“Only three per cent of Nigerian SMEs have access to credit products. By teaming up with MFS Africa, and with the strong support of our local commercial banking partners, we can offer more value-added products and services, such as cross-border payments, to support Nigerian SMEs in their growth.”
Baxi is one of the largest independent non-bank SME-focused electronic payment networks in Nigeria operating an Omnichannel platform that enables digital payment through mobile, in-store location, online, wallets and b2b channels.
The mission is to bring a wide bouquet of digital products and services to the grassroots and mass-market consumers through innovation, technology and a world-class retail distribution network that is driven primarily by agents and merchants.