Google has partnered with Verve, a Nigerian payment card brand, to allow Nigerians to buy apps on Google Play Store.
Google will conduct Verve transactions in Naira (₦), and banks will treat these transactions as local.
To use the service, visit Google Play Store, select the app you want to purchase, enter the desired amount, select "add credit or debit card," and, when prompted, enter your Verve card information.
You can also visit pay.google.com, log in with your Gmail account, select 'Add a payment method,' enter your Verve card information, and save. After that, make your purchase by going back to the Play Store. This service is available to Android users with Verve cards.
However, you can’t currently pay for YouTube Premium with your Verve card.
Meanwhile, in July 2023, the Interswitch-owned company, Verve, reported it had issued over 50 million payment cards in Nigeria, indicating its dominance in the country.
For context, data from Statista shows that as of January 2022, about 28% of cardholders in Nigeria had Mastercards, and about 18% had Visas.
However, between 2019 and 2022, Verve was the most popular card in Nigeria, making up 54% of the cards used in Nigeria for PoS and online transactions.
Vincent Ogbunude, Managing Director Verve International, said integrating with Google Play is a significant step towards realising Verve's vision of promoting financial inclusion.
Verve has previously partnered with other businesses to advance financial inclusion in Nigeria. In 2022, the payments company collaborated with Opay to launch the OPay Verve instant debit card.
The card, directly linked to OPay users' wallets, allows OPay users to use the new Instant Debit Card to make purchases from their wallets anywhere Verve is accepted, including PoS terminals, ATMs, grocery stores, restaurants, petrol stations, and online retailers.
“The introduction of local payments with Verve cards is a significant milestone, enabling more Nigerians to participate in the app economy and access the apps they need," Anthea Crawford, Head of Retail and Payment Partnerships at Google Play, concludes.