The partnership will also provide powerful tools that businesses and startups across Africa can use to verify the mobile identity of their customers, and in turn, further help in creating more trust in the online payments landscape on the continent.Paystack is one of Nigeria’s largest payments startups, processing nearly 20 per cent of all online transactions in Africa’s largest economy. The company (the first Nigerian startup to get into the celebrated Y Combinator Accelerator) aims to allow merchants in Africa accept payments from anyone, anywhere in the world.
Previously, all merchants who wanted to accept payments with Paystack had to be registered with various regulatory bodies. In Nigeria, where the vast majority of businesses are unregistered, the requirement to be registered prevented many legitimate offline businesses from realizing the benefits of online payments.
The Paystack-Truecaller partnership means that in addition to Paystack’s proprietary merchant risk assessment checks, merchants can now verify their mobile identity via Truecaller. Integrating Truecaller’s mobile number identity product as a verification mechanism strengthens the Paystack platform’s merchant verification process and also makes it possible to open up Paystack to the millions of unregistered businesses who were previously unable to accept online payments with Paystack.
Commenting Paystack Chief Executive Officer, Shola Akinlade, said: “This partnership with Truecaller allows Paystack to deliver on our promise of trust as well as a frictionless experience. We want to be able to guarantee that all businesses paid via Paystack are thoroughly checked for legitimacy and credibility. In a low-trust environment like Nigeria where many people are paying online for the first time, it’s important to deliver a safe, fraud-free experience, and this is a responsibility that Paystack takes extremely seriously.”
Shola added: “We needed to balance the strong desire to open Paystack up to unregistered business against the equally strong obligation to protect the interests of customers. Customers need the firm assurance that every Paystack merchant they pay is a vetted business, and our partnership with Truecaller ensures that we can continue to be worthy of customers’ trust.”
In addition to using Truecaller as part of the merchant verification flow, Paystack will also be introducing Truecaller as a verification option for local developers and startups who want to verify the identity of their own customers on Paystack’s developer platform.Paystack already makes three verification options available to developers – the ability to verify the Bank Verification Number (BVN) of customers (BVN is an identifying number issued by Nigerian regulators), the ability to verify bank account details, and the ability to verify card details. Truecaller will be a fourth, new verification option, and the impact of this will be to create more trust in the payments flow for African businesses.