Senegalese fintech startup PayDunya has established a presence in Ivory Coast and Benin, and plans to expand into Mali, Burkina Faso and other Francophone African countries by the end of the year.
Launched in November 2015, PayDunya is an easy-to-use universal multi-channel payment gateway and solutions provider, offering a single API for e-businesses anywhere in the world to process payments from and to African customers via mobile money, money transfer and credit cards.
Having started life in Senegal, PayDunya now has more than 600 active business clients in its home market as well as in Ivory Coast and Benin, across sectors such as insurance, e-commerce, education and hospitality.
Co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Aziz Yérima told Disrupt Africa the startup was focused on a strategy of geographic expansion at this point in time.
“We first want to settle in Francophone Africa. Our first scope is the French-speaking area, with a presence in 10 countries at the end of 2020,” he said.
“We look forward to being a leader in the online payment market in French-speaking countries in Africa in the next five years.”
PayDunya’s aspirations go further, however, with Yérima saying it hoped to one day be active in 30 African countries, both Francophone and Anglophone.
“Our main goal today is truly accelerating the emergence of Africa through the power of digital,” he said.
PayDunya has added a host of products to its suite over the last few years, and now allows customers to do things like generate receipts, receive payments via mobile application, send invoices via SMS or email, set up recurring and automated payment collection, and pay thousands of people with one click.
“We recently developed a new solution for social media sellers. The solution can help sellers that have a page on social media to create their own landing page for their shop,” Yérima said.
Though its expansion plans are progressing well, PayDunya has still been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nobody saw this crisis coming, and we were not prepared for such economic damage. We were far from imagining at the very beginning the economic impact that this was going to have. Many of our customers were in the tourism industry – one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic – and no longer needed web and mobile payment solutions when the pandemic hit.
We therefore had to find strategies to help them and accompany them in facing the crisis that hit them head on,” said Yérima.
“That led us to revisit our goals. The challenge for us is really to help West African companies to limit financial losses resulting from the crisis and promote financial inclusion in areas where more people have mobile money accounts than bank accounts. Honestly, the crisis creates many challenges, but also opportunities for those who can work digitally.”