Paystack

A Stripe-like startup out of Lagos that provides online payment facilities to merchants by way of an API.
Batch: 2016 Winter
Status: Successful

Paystack

A Stripe-like startup out of Lagos that provides online payment facilities to merchants by way of an API.
Batch: 2016 Winter
Status: Successful

Company

APIs and tools to enable merchants accept payments in African Markets

Software and services needed for merchants in Africa to accept online payments from local and international customers. We provide a full stack APIs and we’ll securely collect, encrypt, transmit and store customer card information in a highly protected vault and offer continuous anti-fraud and charge back protection services.

To make these happen we’ve partnered with Access Bank (the third Largest Bank in Nigeria) and we’ve built a PCI Compliant payments infrastructure and APIs.

Progress

Private Beta. We are piloting with a dozen merchants and we have hundreds of merchants on our waiting list.

We are currently growing our waiting list at 10x, and transaction volume at 15x.

By the last application, it was just a prototype, now we’re already running live transactions and we’ve released additional libraries.

Idea

When i founded my first startup in 2010, we needed a way to accept payments online, there was no solution locally, we had to work around using Avangate BV and creating accounts in the UK. 5 years later, there’s still no easy way.

I spent the entire 2014 implementing payments and disbursement solutions for Banks and i realized that most of the infrastructure needed to build a full stack payments API already existed, and it just needed someone to do the hardwork of putting it all together and doing all that is necessary. I finished the engagement in Nov. 2014 and immediately created Paystack.

The demand for Paystack is amazing, we haven’t done any PR or Marketing and we’re growing our waiting list at 10x monthly, just from word of mouth. I’ve personally spoken to over 150 merchants and everyone is excited and waiting. Our pilot merchants need it so much that they started using it without a settlement system, so they did not mind leaving their money with us for over 6 weeks.

What’s new? In Nigeria.. there’s still no way to accept recurring payments or one click payments. The incumbents are big co’s owned by banks and are not interested in innovating.

Substitutes, creating US or UK companies so they can use UK or US payment processors and then find ways to send the money back.

We have 3 types of competitors: (1) Local Financial Institutions (2) Global Payment cos and (3) Local non-Financial Institutions

Local FI’s are not able to progress because they mostly buy white label solutions. No incremental progress or problem-solving.

Global companies like Stripe and Braintree are competitors but it will be difficult for them to meet the needs of the African Merchants. It’s easy for them to offer Bitcoin or Apple Pay integration but what about Verve Cards (a pan African card scheme), or Mobile Money or other local card schemes?

Local Non FI’s are the real competition, but we believe that as long as we focus on solving the merchant’s needs we will continue to grow our business.

Well, we’re firstly developers, then business owners, and merchants so we can feel the pain from a developer and merchant perspective. every other person right now seems to be more interested in their vested interests.

We’re already getting users by word of mouth. We’re active in the local developer community, we’ll reach out to merchants directly, and we’ll signup merchants via integration with existing services (Shopify, eventbrite, woocommerce) Our banking partner has also asked that we onboard thousands of Merchants that are their customers.

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