Digital payment firm MFS Africa announced on March 28 the finalization of the process to acquire Baxi, an electronic payment network focused on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.

The transaction was approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria, marking the successful completion of that process.

“MFS Africa will build Baxi into a key node on its digital payment network, enabling customers to make regional and global payments to and from Nigeria,” indicated MFS Africa in October 2021 when launching the acquisition process.

It also promised to “expand Baxi’s proposition for offline SMEs to select markets within MFS Africa’s 320 million mobile wallets across more than 35 African countries.”

The deal, finalized five months after the initial steps, was the second most significant acquisition in the Nigerian fintech sector. It marks MFS Africa’s whole entrance into the Nigerian payment industry.

As the leading economy in Africa, Nigeria has one of the most dynamic markets in the continent. According to MFS Africa, it has the largest number of SMEs and the largest remittance market, accounting for one-third of intra-African remittance flows.

Baxi is one of the largest SME-focused electronic payment networks in Nigeria. With a network of 90,000 agents, Baxi, founded by Degbola Abudu and Folu Majekodunmi, claims to have processed more than US$1 billion in transactions from its creation (in 2014) to 2021.

Baxi and MFS Africa’s activities are complementary. Through its services (payment, account opening, money transfer, bill payment), Baxi will enable more than 67 million unbanked Nigerians and informal SMEs to get access to basic financial services. With its network, MFS Africa will expand the reach of the services offered by Baxi.