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Chams believes mobile money and cross-border payments will fuel growth after government fiasco


When Mayowa Olaniyan was appointed GMD/CEO of Chams Holding Company Plc in December 2022, she felt the company’s stock was undervalued. After 14 months, Chams’ share price has increased to ₦2.50kobo from 50kobo in 2022.

“The share price has begun to reflect the proper value of the organization,” Olaniyan told TechCabal during a call.

Investors are applauding Chams for its decision to shift away from government clients after losing $100 million on a disputed national identity project.

“We are no longer dealing with the government. We solely work on consumer initiatives, which means servicing you,” said Demola Aladekomo, the company’s chairman.

Chams’ holding company structure is a crucial component of this transition. The company’s subsidiaries will compete in numerous financial services, including mobile money, cross-border payments, and educational funding.

ChamsSwitch, the switching company, will focus on cross-border transactions and gateway payments. The subsidiary believes there is a potential business in removing payment bottlenecks for dealers purchasing items from overseas partners.

“The volume of business transactions in Computer Village at Ikeja that come from China is huge, and there is no means of payment.”

ChamsSwitch teamed with UnionPay in July 2023, a Chinese financial services firm that offers bank card services in China. This arrangement, combined with an integration with Nigerian banks, will enable the subsidiary to issue UnionPay cards that support international payments.

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“Providus Bank should go live by the end of Q1 2024.” Wema Bank and Heritage Bank are also among the financial institutions that have joined.

CardCentre has taken a bit, but now it wants the entire pie. If you have a debit or SIM card, it was most likely made by CardCenter, a Chams subsidiary.

The restriction on SIM card importation in August 2022 means that only local players can manufacture these cards. The subsidiary generates five million cards each week (SIM and debit cards) and intends to increase its production lines. In July 2023, CardCentre added a second card manufacturing line.

CardCentre already produces SIM cards for MTN Nigeria and plans to produce cards for Airtel Nigeria as well. It also intends to expand to other African countries, relying on foreign partners to help it achieve its goals.

In addition to its ambitious expansion plans, CardCentre intends to undergo a backward integration to entirely manufacture cards in Nigeria. It does import a few components to help personalize these cards, but Nigeria’s currency volatility is pressuring the company to embrace local production to save money.

Chams’ Bet on the NGX As Chams’ share price stabilizes on the NGX, strengthening investor trust, Olaniyan believes listing on the NGX is “best for sustainability, continuity, and accountability.” This is despite the scrutiny that comes with being listed, which many tech businesses may seek to avoid.

While Chams remains a leader in various IT industries, its subsidiaries—ChamsSwitch, ChamsMobile, CardCentre, and ChamsAccess—are instilling investor confidence that the NGX will experience significant development by the end of the year.

Techrectory with Agency Report.

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