Uzoma Dozie, the last Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank (now Access Bank) has recently announced that he is launching Sparkle, a new financial technology community and ecosystem.
Uzoma Dozie is poised to change the face of the retail industry in Nigeria with the launch of Sparkle, a mobile-first platform which will offer lifestyle and financial services to the multi-billion-dollar retail sector.
Sparkle will handle the manner in which retailers realize their daily objectives and progress their businesses, offering a suite of innovative lifestyle services, in addition to the regular current and savings that exist in the market.
The Sparkle development team is building a digital framework that allows retailers to register their companies, register for tax. It aims to bridge the gap between business advisory and regulatory services for retail SMEs. Consequently, the mobile app is expected to driver a wider regulatory reform and financial inclusion in the retail market.
Specifically, Sparkle will deliver support services based on customer experience, ranging from invoicing statements and inventory management to POS-via-mobile function and foreign exchange services.
Powered by machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI), Sparkle aims to build a dynamic community around retailers and consumers in Nigeria that will influence the purchasing decisions based on user-generated behavioural purchase data. According to a statement from the Sparkle Team, Sparkle will actively support retailers in navigating a better route to market by leading the right consumers their way.
Speaking on this, the founder and CEO of Sparkle, Dozie commented that, “Retailers and Consumers in Nigeria are currently disconnected. Sparkle is building the solution around its understanding of the challenges of small businesses, which help to reduce the operational risks small businesses are exposed to in their infancy. Sparkle is a product. Sparkle is a community. It is born out of necessity for Nigeria’s retail landscape”
“We will connect millions of retailers on a digital platform, providing a service they can trust, that is seamless, and that allows for frictionless transactions across all activities and business services. Having spent more than 20 years building the retail arm of Diamond Bank, it is clear that there is a significant gap in the market to incubate and roll out a new approach to services for retailers, and at scale. They need a financial and business service partner, not another finance platform. This is where we stand out from all others”, he said.
He concluded by saying, “Sparkle is a collaborative effort between retailer and consumer – a support system that will ensure far greater financial inclusion and much improved access to market, built for many, built to scale.”
Set to be released this year, Dozie further informed that Sparkle will release plug-in APIs, whereby external developers can contribute and build solutions. The company has entered partnerships with Network International, Visa, and will also be working with Microsoft.
The PwC company is to design and implement future-focused operating models to support Sparkle’s business strategy, while simultaneously co-creating disruptive technology solutions backed by the power of PWCs Experience Centre. Femi Osinubu, the Partner and Leader, Experience Centre and Emerging Technology, PwC Nigeria, said, “We are very excited about our relationship with Sparkle and the prospects of working with the company to create Nigeria’s first whole digital financial services company”.