Year 2018; The year of Fintech in Nigeria

Fintech, for the uninitiated, is financial technology sector; These are startups using technology to provide financial service to customers through various products.

Financial Infrastructure

If there is anything terribly needed in Africa, it is a platform that makes moving money across Africa easy, and the most popular startup in that sector currently is Flutterwave, co-founded by Andela co-founder; Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and other banking veterans. This has made it possible for more Fintech startups to leverage its infrastructure to build products it might not be well positioned to build or execute. By doing this, entrepreneurs and businesses are able to go to the market with their innovative product without getting slowed down by lack of financial infrastructure in Africa. Flutterwave has processed over $1.2b in transaction since it’s launch.

Merchant Commerce

Paystack, the darling of developers has seen tremendous growth in the volume of transactions and the number of merchants on its platform. Back in July, Paystack shared that it processed a billion naira in transactions within the month, and just this December, the number was N2.7b, almost 3 folds just under 6 months and a total of 7,700 merchants on the platform. These were simply transaction done by merchants (excluding transfer); read e-commerce.

As big e-commerce players struggle in Nigeria, it’s good to see smaller players growing in transaction with the help of Fintech Startups in Nigeria. Other Fintech Startups: Amplify, SimplePay, CashEnvoy,

Offline Payment

In the sexiness of online payment, e-commerce, and infrastructure, we generally fail to realize the importance and significance of offline payment which according to our estimate is still more than 95% of payment transaction in the country. These areas are unsexy but bigger (at moment) than online payments. The Startups leading the way in this key area are CashEnvoy and Paga. With CashEnvoy’s Paypad, they are able to make online transactions possible for merchant in shops, delivery agents for logistic companies and “human ATMs” in remote locations. If you have ever been to an area in remote Nigeria where finding the closest ATM to you will take a 2hrs car trip, you most likely will appreciate the value of these “Human ATMs” and the values provided by this ATM service providers. Paga, on the other hand, is the king of offline transactions in Nigeria, from payment collection, bank withdrawall, and transfer.

Loan

2017 saw huge increase in transaction and startups in this subsector in Nigeria. Leading the pack is Paylater, a startup that allows you to borrow money in minutes from mobile apps and receive it in your bank account. These products are amazing in that you do not need paper work as required by the bank to be able to get the money you need quickly. Though, they mostly come with higher interest but who cares about high interest when you need money here and now? Other startups in this area are; Kiakia, Lidya, Aella Credit, RenMoney

Personal Finance and Savings

Every human one way or the other needs a way to preserve their money, make more on it and buy their dream products. This usually comes in a way of saving up your earnings or getting loan to make the dream come true. PiggyBank.ng is the leader in this space with almost a billion in deposit. CowryWise, OsusuMobile, REΛCH and SusuAI.

Analyst View

As these startups becomes ubiquituos this year, we will see traditional banks pay attention in the way of either partnering, or starting their own subsidiary or launching product to take on any of this subsector. As other sources of revenue; Federal and State government, Bond, T-bills, Forex and oil becomes volatile and unpredictable they will be looking at other avenues to make money and beat their last year revenue. We have also entered election season, a lot of money will move out of the banking system onto the hands of political players (in “Ghana must go” bags) etc.

As we cross our fingers and follow the growth in the system, we can be sure of amazing things in this new year.

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