For finding its way to the hearts of millions of Nigerian youths who desire a secure digital financial services platform in the ever-expanding social commerce space, rebranding, and acquiring a mobile money operator (MMO) licence from the apex bank to expand its footprints, Pocket by Piggyvest is the LEADERSHIP e-Commerce Company of the Year 2022.
The year 2022 has been momentous for PocketApp, formerly Abeg App, following its acquisition by an online savings & investment platform, PiggyVest, and the rebranding that followed. The Abeg mobile app was an application developed by Abeg Technologies, one of the many fast-growing fintech companies in Nigeria, and was in 2022 acquired by PiggyTech Global Limited and rebranded as Pocket.
The Abeg App was co-founded by Dare Adekoya, Michael Okoh and Muheez Akanni in 2019. Its popularity as a go-to payments app was largely due to Abeg Technologies sponsorship of the Big Brother Naija reality TV show. This has attracted a large following of Nigerian youths hooked on the reality TV show, thus enabling the promotion of the Abeg app and later PocketApp all over social media platforms. That shot it into the limelight.
With the PocketApp, you can send, receive and request money from other Nigerians on the app. You can also withdraw to your bank account at ease and convert it to cash. With the acquisition, the fintech company was also granted an approval in principle (AIP) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to operate as a mobile money operator (MMO) to drive digital payments and inclusion for micro-entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
The AIP received by Abeg App, now PocketApp, is the first step towards final approval, subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions as stipulated by the CBN. With the AIP, the fintech company became the first social commerce platform to secure CBN AIP for an MMO licence to drive digital payments and inclusion for micro-entrepreneurs in the country.
This marked a crucial development in the company’s bid to support seamless payments and online commerce throughout the country. The new licence enables Pocket to offer a range of mobile money services, including wallet creation and management, eMoney issuing, USSD payment services, agent recruitment and management, pool account management and card acquisition.
The new licence and rebranding reflects the company’s ambition to expand its offerings from money transfers to delivering a range of payment services for Nigeria’s social commerce and e-Commerce markets.
The platform has been focused on building the core infrastructure that would enable secure social commerce and payments at scale, believing that social commerce will thrive better in a more trusted environment. PocketApp has added escrow to its payment infrastructure, protecting buyers and sellers as well as many other features, and ensuring a smooth shopping experience on the app.
The platform’s new name reflects its added functionalities for users to buy and sell items via virtual pocket shops. The company’s strategic pivot which came as the market for social commerce in Nigeria is expected to reach $23.8billion by 2028.
The founders of the company say they will continue growing and expanding the scope of their social payments, social commerce and other digital financial products to reach millions of Nigerian micro-entrepreneurs.