Nigeria’s Payment Platform Abeg Rebrands Into Social Commerce Platform Pocket By Piggvest

Nigerian payment platform Abeg has rebranded into a social commerce platform and will now be going under the name Pocket by Piggvest. Fintech startup Piggytech Global Limited, known for its Piggvest product, is Abeg-now-Pocket’s parent company.

The rebrand came on the heels of parent company Piggtech’s acquisition of an Approval-In-Principle (AIP) from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the news that the platform will receive a license needed to operate as a mobile money operator in the country. Abeg-now-Pocket wants to widen its social commerce operations across Nigeria with its rebrand.

On acquiring a mobile money operator license, Piggytech Global Limited will be able to provide customers with mobile money offerings such as USSD payment services, and card issuance, and be able to issue e-money, create and manage wallet creation, manage and pay money to its agent, and manage pool accounts.

Just like how social media company Facebook rebranded as Meta to reflect the company’s drive into the metaverse and beyond social media, Abeg’s new name Pocket will be reflecting the company’s position as a social commerce platform and not just an ordinary payment platform.

“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,” co-founder and COO of Piggytech Global, Odunayo Eweniyi said commenting on Pocket’s Approval-In-Principle (AIP).

Abeg was founded in 2020 by Dare Adekoya, Muheez Akanni, Patricia Adoga, and Eniola Ajayi-Bembe as a payment platform that enabled people to send and receive money seamlessly via its wallet-based model. The platform went viral on Twitter as a result of its catchy name which is a term used popularly by Nigerians to ask their family or friends for favors. Abeg recorded 5,000 downloads in its first two weeks and went on to achieve bigger numbers after the platform became the headline sponsor of the reality TV show Big Brother Naija. It headlined the show with just 20,000 users and claimed to have amassed almost 2 million users at the end of the reality show.

Pocket’s COO Patricia Adoga said that the transition into a platform that’d enable social commerce has been in the works for almost two years. According to her, ensuring security would go a long way in building the confidence of users, “so we added escrow to our payment infrastructure, protecting buyers and sellers and many other features, ensuring a smooth shopping experience on the app.”

In a statement that the company put out, Pocket said that it wants to connect buyers and sellers across Nigeria and eventually the whole of Africa. “People can discover you from anywhere, as long as you do honest work and you have a smartphone,“ Piggytech Global co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)  Joshua Chibueze said.

“A strawberry trader in Lagos can buy strawberries from a vendor in Jos who has a pocket shop. That way, the price will be way cheaper because you’re dealing with the vendor directly,” he added emphasizing that the newly rebranded social commerce platform wants to break location barriers and bring buyers and sellers irrespective of where they are in Nigeria together.

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