How Upperlink Changed the Face of Payment System with PayChoice


Emma Okonji

Upperlink, one of the 11 licensed Payment Service Solution Providers (PSSPs), has developed a local payment software solution that is currently revolutionising the financial payment system. The solution has attracted the attention of the Central Bank Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its stakeholders.

The local payment solution known as PayChoice, is a self-service payment and collection infrastructure gateway that offers payment and collection efficiency.

Developed in August 2016, the solution became commercially viable in January 2017, allowing corporate organisations and government agencies with multiple accounts in different banks, to identify all such accounts and operate them on a single platform that is provided by PayChoice. It offers solution for instant payment of salaries and financial remunerations for vendors, merchants and contractors.

Based on its unique operational module, PayChoice recently won the CBN Electronic Payments Incentive Scheme (EPIS) Efficiency Awards, topping other 10 licensed PSSPs.

Upperlink won the innovation award for efficiency by beating competing brands in the Cashless Driver: Payment Solutions Service Provider (PSSP) category to the coveted accolade last weekend.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Upperlink, Mr. Segun Akano, explained that the locally developed software has helped state governments with multiple accounts scattered across several banks in their states that were hitherto unknown to the state governments, to detect such hidden accounts, thus helping state governments to recover lost funds and to block further financial leakages.

Akano who spoke with journalists in Lagos said by leveraging on the integration to the National Switch and the company’s vast experience in deploying bespoke software solutions, the firm has created a payment and collection platform which allows “for easy, fast and safe payments of bills, vendor and bulk payments.”

He explained that the company’s platform offers customers the advantages to deliver fast and efficient payment, as it has successfully been integrated into the Nigerian Central Switch operated by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) in the country, which gives customers the ability to route payments via their preferred channels
“PayChoice stands out from the rest as we have carefully studied the market by interacting with key stakeholders and users to develop a user-customer centric product. Unlike other platforms, we have created a robust, yet user-friendly application which solves all payment problems.

“We have streamlined our on-boarding process to ensure that due diligence and integrations are concluded within a week. We have easy to-use Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that allows third party systems to connect easily”, Akano said.

Explaining how the payment platform has suddenly risen to stardom, Akano said the market remained huge but that, “our unique selling point is simplicity, efficiency of payments and a feel-at-home-customer service. Besides, we have a zero tolerance for payment failure. We have high level of security and are compliant to the regulatory payment standard”.

Targeted at SMEs, government agencies, telecommunications companies, oil and gas, construction, pharmaceutical companies, among other sectors, PayChoice, he said, would ride on providing efficiency of payments and innovative solutions that make self service possible.

“We are looking at satisfying more SMEs by further customising our solutions to fit all SMEs and integrating them to other solutions that help SMEs such as the accounting and human resource solutions”, he said.
He further disclosed that the firm has the capacity to create bespoke payment solutions for different clients through bank branches, PoS, ATM and the web using the PayChoice payment infrastructure gateway.