THE FINTECH INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA

Over the years, in Nigeria, we have seen the rise and emergence of financial technology companies that have made life easier for Nigerians. This development also coincides with the advancement in digital technology in the country. These fintech companies provide financial services and solutions to people through the use of technology. Some of these services include saving money, sending/receiving money (within and outside the country), making payments, and more. These companies rely on internet applications and devices for people to use their services. So, basically, anyone with an internet-enabled device can use the services provided by these fintech companies.

While one may liken the services provided by these fintech companies to the ones provided by the traditional banking industry, they are not the same and some features make fintech companies distinct.

1.      No Physical Presence

Besides the office from where operations are being run, fintech companies do not need any form of physical presence as everything they do is entirely through the internet. A person can send money, make payments, lodge complaints, and do everything simply from their smartphone or computer. There is no need for cashiers or tellers as technology would handle all that aspect.

2.      Specialisation

Fintech companies usually specialise in one or two aspects of finance. One company may choose to focus on bill payments while another may choose to only provide services for sending and receiving money, with a third just focusing on savings alone, and so forth.

3.      Reliance On Internet Technology

Fintech companies rely on technology so much and there is no alternative to it. Most fintech companies have apps where their customers can transact from, websites, card readers, and more. The internet is the backbone of the fintech industry and they harness it in several ways.

4.      Collaboration

Many of these fintech companies work with some of the traditional banks. They also work with other tech companies to provide specific services to the people.

Some people see fintech companies as the future, with the hope that they would, one day, replace the traditional bank institution. Even banks have started integrating some aspects of fintech into their operations to serve their customers better.

There are so many fintech companies in Nigeria today, providing various services. We would be looking at a few of them below.

1.      Flutterwave


Flutterwave was recently made the 2021 Time 100 Most Influential Companies list, under the ‘pioneer’ category. Founded in 2016 in San Francisco by Olugbenga Agboola and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Flutterwave quickly moved back to Nigeria and set up its Headquarters in Lagos. Currently valued at $1 billion, Flutterwave provides digital payment solutions to businesses through API software and it is used by companies within and outside Africa. Flutterwave also owns Barter, a retail product that allows people to make easy transactions like bill payments, money transfers, and merchant payments. Users can also create virtual cards to make payments

2.      Interswitch


Interswitch is one of the oldest fintech companies in Nigeria and one of the biggest. Founded in 2002 by Mitchell Elegbe, Interswitch provides technology for ATM cards. Subsidiaries of Interswitch include Verve, the most-used payment card in Nigeria, Quickteller, an online payment platform, and VANSO a mobile-focused technology provider to banks.

3.      Paystack


Founded in 2015 by Ezra Olubi and Sola Akinlade, Paystack is one of the major players in the Nigerian fintech industry. Paystack provides a way for companies to integrate payment services by way of an API with customers including other fintech companies, educational institutions, betting sites, and more. in 2020, Paystack was acquired by Stripe for $200 million, making it the biggest startup acquisition in Nigeria. Paystack has operations in Ghana and recently opened an office in South Africa.

4.      Paga


Paga was founded in 2009 by Tayo Oviosu but launched officially in 2012. It is a payment platform that offers a range of services including money transfers, bill payments, and more. Its website states that it is the “largest distribution network for financial services in Nigeria.” Paga has registered agents in all corners of the country that help people use its services.

5.      PiggyVest


PiggyVest is an online platform that helps people save money. It was founded in 2016 by  Ayo Akinola and Joshua Chibueze. Formerly known as ‘Piggybank.ng’, today, PiggyVest is the biggest online saving platform in Nigeria, providing users with a better interest rate than traditional banks. Users can also send and receive money right from their PiggyVest app.

6.      Kuda Bank


Kuda Bank is the first mobile bank in Nigeria. It was founded in 2016 by Babs Ogundeyi and Mustapha Musty. As a mobile bank, it provides all the services of a regular bank, and more, right from an app on your phone. Users can also apply for a physical debit card with zero card maintenance fees and no charges for regular transactions.

There are lot more fintech companies in Nigeria than we have covered here and there are more to come in the coming years, and as technology reaches new heights every day, these fintech companies would continue to offer a lot more advantages than the traditional finance industry used to offer, making life easier for everybody.

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