The financial technology space in Nigeria has become quite a competitive subsector in the economy with about 250 companies in the system.
Financial technology is basically an initiative that aims at delivering financial services to consumers – the technologies may include internet, apps, mobile phones and other technological devices.
One of the merits of fintech is its capacity to enhance achieve financial inclusion globally.
These companies offer services such as money transfer, depositing a check with your mobile phone, applying for credits, raising funds for business.
The companies usually have little or no physical presence because the entire banking process is online. Some of these companies use the ajo (thrift) scheme method and charge zero interest on loans.
Here are 13 most influential Fintech companies in Nigeria.
It was established in 2017 by Iyin Aboyeji and Olugbenga Abgoola and is headquartered in San Francisco. It provides payment services to banks and businesses to ensure seamless transaction with customers. It raised $170 million in its latest round of funding to increase its customer base in the global market. It initiated Batar. It allows users to create virtual US dollar debit cards within seconds for one-time or regular usage. Unlike other platforms, it requests a working email address and phone number as the service relies on customer details already obtained by a user’s bank.
Interswitch, headquartered in Lagos, integrates digital payments. It was founded in 2002 by Mitchell Elegbe. Visa in November 2019 invested $200 million and will recoup 20 per cent stake from the company which is valued at no less than $1 billion.
PayStack was established in 2015 by Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi. It makes payment processes consistent for both consumers and the businesses they are attempting to pay.
Paga was founded in 2009 by Tayo Oviosu but launched in 2011. Through Paga, you can pay bills, make bank deposits and even pay in certain stores. It acts as a mobile wallet where customers perform transactions on their mobile devices.
Carbon, formerly known as Paylater, is owned by One Finance and was founded in 2016. It is a loan app which gives short loans through its mobile app. Use of mobile phones to obtain loans makes the process faster and easier.
Remita set the pace for fintech companies in Nigeria as it was developed by system specs in 1991 by John Obaro. It assists SMEs, multinationals, state governments, government agencies, NGOs, educational institutions and individuals to receive and make payments electronically.
VoguePay was established in 2012, it is accessible to local consumers with a simple and minimal effort platform as its principal selling point.
OPay is owned by Opera. It entered the fintech market in August after acquiring a controlling stake in PayCom. It was founded by Telnet Nigeria.
Lidya is a mobile-first technology with strong customer experience and proprietary credit scoring.
Kudi Money was rebranded to Kuda Bank. It was founded in 2017 by Babatunde Ogundeyi. It performs similar functions like other fintech companies. The start-up raised $1.6 milion in 2019.
It was originally known as Piggybank.ng, before it became PiggyVest. It allows debit cardholders to save little amounts of money frequently with minimal effort. It automates the process of saving tiny amounts daily, weekly, or monthly you. It was founded in February 2016 by Ayo Akinola, Joshua Chibueze, Nonso Eagle, Odunayo Eweniyi, and Somto Ifezue.
This is a mobile banking platform that gives loans and credits. It was founded in 2017. It has a team of people across Paris, France, and Lagos, Nigeria.
Chipper Cash was founded in 2017 by Ham Serunjogi and Maijid Moujaled and it is headquartered in San Francisco, California. It enables free instant cross-border mobile money transfers in Africa as easy as sending a text message.
Who regulates fintech in Nigeria?
The Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Security and Exchange Commissions (SEC), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) are the regulators of these companies.
The NDIC is responsible for insuring all deposit liabilities of licensed banks and other deposit-receiving financial institution in Nigeria. Fintech companies which are in the business of obtaining and saving money deposited by Nigerian consumers such as PSBs must be registered with the NDIC, pursuant to section 15 of the NDIC Act, 2006.
Since the primary role of the CBN is to regulate financial services in Nigeria and financial institutions by virtue of the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act, 1991 (“BOFIA”). Before fintech companies offer financial services to consumers, they must obtain necessary licences and comply with the CBN’s applicable guidelines.
Fintech companies that have the intention of raising capital from the capital market are mandated to register their securities with the SEC and comply with the ISA, 2007 and the rules made thereunder.
It regulates the incorporation of and official record keeping for companies in Nigeria. Fintech companies (including banks) must be incorporated at the CAC to carry on business in Nigeria .
Empowered by the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 to regulate the telecommunication industry in Nigeria. Fintech companies offer services that involve the use of mobile phones, and must obtain operating licences from the NCC. For companies that perform mobile payments, they must be licensed by the NCC pursuant to the Licence Framework for Value Added Service (“VAS”).
The NITDA is saddled with creating and enforcing data protection regulations in Nigeria as stipulated in the NITDA Act 2007. NITDA issued the Nigerian Data Protection Regulations 2019, protects rights of natural persons to data privacy and fosters the safe conduct of transactions involving the exchange of personal data.
NAICOM was established by the National Insurance Commission Act, 1997. It is responsible for ensuring the administration, regulation and control of insurance business in Nigeria.
The FCCPC was established by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (“FCCPA”). The provisions extend to Fintech and prohibit anti-competitive practices in the Fintech space.
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