Nigerian Digital Bank FairMoney Acquires PayForce to Expand Financial Services for Merchants.

16 Mar 2023

Nigerian digital banking platform FairMoney has acquired PayForce, a merchant payment service that serves small businesses. The move is part of FairMoney’s plan to broaden its financial services to merchants and to take on the task of rebuilding Africa's financial landscape. There are approximately 100 million micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Africa, with 42 million in Nigeria alone. It is estimated that consumer payments in Africa will reach $2.1 trillion by 2025, but currently, only 5% of these transactions are digitized, which makes it difficult for merchants to collect payments seamlessly. Banks, fintech firms, and mobile money operators are developing innovative solutions to address this issue.
PayForce provides merchants with point-of-sale (POS) devices and allows them to offer cash-in, cash-out, transfers, and bill payments to retail customers. The fintech, which serves over 10,000 businesses, offers business banking, finance team tools, B2B payments, and virtual cards. With the acquisition of PayForce, FairMoney has taken on the goal of increasing its merchant base to 100,000 merchants in Nigeria while building a robust network of financial service points to aid small businesses across the country.
FairMoney's acquisition of PayForce was a cash-and-stock deal reportedly worth between $15 million and $20 million. Perella Weinberg Partners served as a financial advisor to FairMoney, while Renaissance Capital Africa served as a financial advisor to CrowdForce. CrowdForce charges a 0.6% commission per transaction across its products, including PayForce, and the company says it has been cash positive since 2020 while growing 25% month-on-month to serve 1.9 million unique customers in 25 Nigerian states to date.
FairMoney co-founder and CEO, Laurin Hainy, said that the acquisition will provide incentives for PayForce-acquired merchants who use FairMoney as their primary bank, such as an 18% annual return on deposits. CrowdForce's Co-Founder and CEO, Oluwatomi Ayorinde, will join Fairmoney as the head of PayForce by FairMoney, the company’s payments business unit.

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