Geoffrey Weli-Wosu is the Co-founder and Chief Legal Officer of VoguePay. He sat with The Spark team to speak about the company’s accomplishments and how they remain leading lights in the Nigerian tech space.
Mr Weli-Wosu took us to the beginning of VoguePay’s operations and explained how the company was able to get buy-in from customers. “When we started, it was tough for us to get the trust of customers, especially internationally. But then, we established an office in the UK, with a view to attract foreign merchants. That paid off because while they wouldn’t deal with Nigeria directly, they could come to the UK office. The UK office helped us build credibility and relationships because our customers knew that if you were operating in the UK, you had to abide by the regulations there even when they later realised that the solution came from Nigeria.”
The payment processing space is a saturated space but VoguePay stands out in the industry and Geoffrey was ready to tell us why. “A lot of merchants come to us because we look at their pain points and then provide end-to-end solutions; going beyond just processing for them. This basically is what makes the difference for us.”
Winning on the Global Scene
Speaking on how the company has become globally relevant, he says, “We started off as a local company in Lagos to deal with the local challenges before we expanded. We realised that the transaction volume we needed to achieve our goals could not be achieved by simply doing the local transactions; we needed global participation, which would then give our local people the opportunity to sell globally as well.” Now, VoguePay has a presence across 5 continents – Africa, North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
In a time when everyone is quick to pursue their own interests, a partnership like VoguePay’s is uncommon. Geoffrey goes on to explain how it’s been successful. “To be honest, without the partnership, we would not be where we are today. It is not just about the solution, the partnership is our strength. We have different skills and we came together to achieve a common goal. That is the source of our success. Knowing that in Nigeria, it is difficult to build a partnership that lasts, we are glad we have been together for more than 7 years. Partnership is a strength that Nigerians must utilise, as there are many times you feel discouraged and you need others to lean on. We have been doing that through the years. Yes, we have had our differences but we have managed them by listening and taking the most reasonable decision, understanding that the company comes first before individuals.”
Advice For Potential Entrepreneurs
With more young people embracing tech entrepreneurship, Geoffrey Weli-Wosu has a few words of advice. “Build solutions for the future and work hand-in-hand with the merchants. You cannot survive by just processing; you have to look for innovative ways to get involved in your merchants’ businesses, knowing what they want before they think about it and giving it to them. So, founders must look beyond processes and look at how to work closely with the merchants. I see payment companies also lending to their merchants to encourage them to do well; this and more are some of the future solutions entrepreneurs need to look into. I think this is what makes a huge difference in ensuring success in business.”
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