Abeg Technologies Limited, acquired by PiggyTech Global Limited, parent company of PiggyVest, has been granted an Approval In Principle (AIP) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to operate as a Mobile Money Operator (MMO) in Nigeria.
The move makes Abeg the first Nigerian social commerce platform to secure the CBN’s AIP for an MMO license.
With a focus to enhance seamless payments and online commerce across Nigeria, Abeg is making a shift from being a money transfer app to a social commerce platform, and in this regard, rebranding to become “Pocket by Piggyvest” (PocketApp).
Leveraging a social commerce market estimated to reach $23.8 billion by 2028 in Nigeria alone, the transition boosts Abeg’s operations, enabling users to buy and sell items using a virtual pocket shop from now on.
This marks the first step towards final approval for the startup, subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions as stipulated by the CBN.
Sharing his pleasure about the approval, Odunayo Eweniyi, Co-Founder and COO of PiggyTech Global Limited, said: “We’re incredibly pleased that PocketApp has been granted an approval in principle as a Mobile Money Operator in Nigeria. We will now work closely with the Central Bank to meet all its conditions to receive the full operating license, enabling us to continue growing and expanding the scope of our social payments, social commerce and other digital financial products to reach millions of Nigerian micro-entrepreneurs.”
“PocketApp affirms its commitment to the financial inclusion agenda of the CBN and the Federal Republic of Nigeria and will continue to make it easier for our teeming young population to seamlessly carry out their transactions while saving them costs and giving them more access to get paid.”
The Mobile Money Operator license will enable the company to carry out activities around: Wallet Creation and Management, E-money issuing, USSD, agent recruitment and management, pool account management, non-bank acquiring as stipulated in the regulatory requirements for non-bank merchant acquiring in Nigeria, card acquiring, and any other activities that the CBN may permit.
Patricia Adoga, COO of PocketApp, said the company has been focused on building the core infrastructure that will enable secure social commerce and payments at scale for the past 18 months. “We believe that social commerce will thrive better in a more trusted environment. So we added escrow to our payment infrastructure, protecting buyers and sellers and many other features, ensuring a smooth shopping experience on the app.”
The app was launched as Abeg App in 2021. With the current change to PocketApp, the payments app has about 2 million users to date, initially focused on sending and receiving money. It has since ventured into a full social commerce app, connecting buyers and sellers across Nigeria and soon Africa.