Abeg, the official sponsor of the last edition of Big Brother Naija, which used to be a payment app, has changed its name to PocketApp to emphasize its transition from a payment app to a social commerce platform. This happened just after it was acquired (very secretly) by its older and wealthier industry peer – Piggytech, the parent company of PiggyVest.
Simultaneously, The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted approval in principle (AIP) for Abeg, a Piggytech Global Limited subsidiary, to apply for a mobile money operator (MMO) license to broaden the scope of its social commerce operations throughout the nation.
The platform’s new identity references the functionality that now allows users to purchase and sell products via online “pocket shops” and strengthens its entry into a social commerce market that is predicted to grow to US$23.8 billion in Nigeria alone by 2028.
By incorporating new features that allow users to buy and sell things via virtual Pocket shops, PocketApp will facilitate seamless payments and online commerce across the nation. “Our main goal is to enable people to set up free internet stores and sell their goods. It made sense for us because we’re attempting to add value for our present clients as over 65% of Piggvest’s members currently sell something,” said Joshua Chibueze, Piggytech Global co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
Nigeria’s social commerce sector, which is anticipated to reach US$23.8 billion by 2028, has attracted PocketApp’s interest. The MMO license will let the PocketApp do tasks essential to developing social commerce, such as creating and managing wallets, enabling USSD, hiring, managing, and paying agents, and managing pool accounts.
Like MTN and Airtel, both recently received similar approvals in principle, PocketApp has expressed support for the Nigerian government’s initiatives to promote financial inclusion. “PocketApp affirms its commitment to the financial inclusion agenda of the CBN and the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the company says. “We will keep making it simpler for our teeming young population to seamlessly carry out their transactions while saving them costs and giving them more access to get paid.”
Speaking on the company’s evolution, Patricia Adoga, COO of PocketApp, states: We have been working on developing the essential infrastructure for secure social commerce and large-scale payments over the past 18 months. We think that a more reliable environment will be better for social commerce. Escrow, along with many other features, was thus introduced to our payment infrastructure to safeguard buyers and sellers and ensure a seamless app purchasing experience.