Financial service delivery has gradually evolved and seen the infusion of emerging technologies that attempt to solve challenges peculiar to the financial industry in Africa.
More specifically, Fintech companies in Nigeria are at the forefront of Africa’s fintech revolution, with formidable solutions that have, over time, evolved to solve the various limitations of the traditional finance system the continent has been used to.
These companies make financial services satisfying and reliable; transactions, investments, savings, and even banking in Nigeria have been made more accessible because of them.
Interestingly, the fintech sector in Nigeria has received more VC (Venture capital) funding than any other sector in Nigeria.
Although the sector has not been immune to the several shocks that happened over the years, from the Covid-19 pandemic to crippling global inflation and even the Russia-Ukraine war, innovators have constantly sought ways to service their customers. The space continually thrives on ideas that impact people directly.
More and more fintech startups are creating improved propositions across the value chain to address problems in the banking industry, from lending startups like Carbon and Renmoney to CowryWise and PiggyVest that offer higher interest rates on savings and OPay and Interswitch’s Quickteller that offers Banking and USSD services.
Based on Technext’s research, here are the top 5 Fintech players in 2022 that are delivering innovative financial services, raising high amounts of funding and garnering market traction with partnerships and expansions.
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Flutterwave, an online payment platform founded in 2006 by Olugbenga Agboola and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, has steadily gained recognition. The company, now an African Unicorn, helps companies and creatives easily make and collect payments from anywhere in the world.
Flutterwave is arguably the biggest financial service provider in Africa and not just in Nigeria alone. They also offer an online payment gateway for merchants to receive payments via credit and debit cards.
Despite having its headquarters in San Francisco, California, USA, the fintech has operations in more than five African nations, including Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, and Kenya.
Their affiliation with more than 40 different banks across the continent, which demonstrates their desire for growth and expansion, is connected to their extensive service offerings. The company is rated one of the top FinTech companies in Nigeria that help customers send, receive money, and pay bills, facilitating over 100 million transactions.
With its latest raise of $250 million in series D funding coming in February this year, which puts the company at a valuation of over $3 billion, the company has a post-money valuation in the range of $1B to $10B as of Feb 16, 2022, according to PrivCo.
In terms of partnerships, Fluttervwave partnered with Cadana, a salary on-demand startup, to help the latter expanded operations into Nigeria. The fintech began to process payments for Cadana, which helps businesses provide their employees with modern payroll platforms that allow employees access to their earned salary on-demand, anytime, anywhere.
Several reports indicated that Flutterwave were ready to take the giant step to go public and list on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange in 2022. Chief financial officer of the company, Oneal Bhambani, disclosed that the company’s attractive market potential and its listing provide an opportunity to “really develop solutions for the largest enterprises in the world that transact in Africa.”
Founded in 2015 by Shola Akinlade (the company CEO) and Ezra Olubi (the company’s CTO), Paystack makes online payment easier and more consistent for businesses and consumers. Its online payment gateway enables users to receive payments using invoices and creating payment pages.
Paystack has more than 60,000 registered customers, and its investors include well-known brands like Stripe (who acquired the business in 2020), Visa, and Y Combinator. Ghana and South Africa can also use Paystack’s solutions. Before being bought by Stripe, Paystack had its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria.
Also, the company has not less than 17,000 corporate customers, including Betway, MTN, IrokoTV, Domino, and Taxify, making it one of the top FinTech businesses in Nigeria. It has been included among the top 250 FinTech firms worldwide, along with two other Nigerian companies.
As part of Paystack’s commitment to accelerate commerce in Africa, the Paystack Integrations Directory was launched in 2022.
In 2022, Paystack continued to integrate its features into other platforms that required processing payments to make life easier, including Xero. Xero is an accounting software app that helps business owners to optimize numbers, receipts, banks and other apps at their convenience.
Founded by Joshua Chibueze, Nonso Eagle, Odunayo Eweniyi, Somto Ifezue, PiggyVest is arguably one of Nigeria’s best savings platforms. The fintech offers its customers the opportunity to earn higher interest rates from their savings, which is higher than some commercial banks.
Parts of its offerings include different saving plans facilitated by the PiggyBank feature. The Safelock feature lets you fix your funds and lock them up for a specified period also.
The company, which began as an online savings platform in Nigeria, has expanded its product line to include investment goods. Piggyvest currently assists about 2 million Nigerians in saving and investing using their smartphones.
PiggyVest currently has over 1 million users and has helped them save over $40 million.
In 2022, Piggyvest acquired Abeg and rebranded the app to Pocket. With the acquisition, the fintech company was granted an Approval in Principle, AIP, by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to operate as a Mobile Money Operator, MMO, to drive digital payments and inclusion for micro-entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
Piggy also partnered with Bamboo, allowing its users to invest in foreign and local stocks.
There is no doubt that Interswitch is one of the biggest names in the FinTech industry in Nigeria and has been in the industry for more than 10 years.
Interswitch is Africa’s leading integrated payments and digital commerce platform company headquartered in Lagos.
Founded in 2002 as a transaction switching and electronic payment processing company by Mitchell Elegbe, Interswitch is one of Nigeria’s pioneer payments companies digitizing the payment ecosystem in Africa.
The Quickteller owner offers financial products such as Quickteller – consumer payment platforms, point-of-sale terminals, Verve, and its ATM card in addition to providing online payment gateways and solutions. Their services have greatly benefited online shoppers.
Through collaborations, it recently debuted a solution for digital address verification and has been developing infrastructure for blockchains. This year, Interswitch also introduced a corporate payment management tool for companies of all sizes.
In 2022, Compass Plus Technologies, an international provider of retail banking and electronic payments software, announced a partnership further to strengthen Interswitch’s payment card processing capacity in Africa.
The strategic partnership will see Interswitch utilise TranzAxis, an award-winning, token-based, cloud-native and API-first open-development payments platform developed by Compass Plus with innovation at its core for Verve, Visa and Mastercard credit card processing.
Also in the year, the Interswitch Group partnered with the World Bank and Global Processing Services (GPS) to formally unveil the 2022 Global Payments Innovation Jury Report, titled: “Payment Innovation: Myths and Realities,” to reveal some surprising insights from senior decision-makers across the industry.
The Quickteller Business Boost, a grant for Nigerian business owners and the Quickteller Paypoint Double-up promo also helped Interswitch remain at the top of mind and helped small business owners scale their businesses in 2022.
Founded by Tosin Eniolorunda in 2015, TeamApt has built financial platforms that include payment, banking, credit, and business management tools for businesses. The startup has progressed from developing mobile apps for major commercial banks to serving customers and businesses through its payments solution, Moniepoint and merchant solution, Monnify.
In 2022, TeamApt announced the relaunch of Moniepoint as a business bank to power the business dreams of Africa’s real economy and to provide financial happiness to all.
This expansion of Moniepoint enabled Nigerians to grow their business with access to quick loans, manage operations, payroll, and staff welfare, and protect the business with affordable premiums.
TeamApt also raised more than $50 million in recent funding in August to expand its credit offerings. The fintech company operates one of Nigeria’s largest business payments and banking platforms, with a $100 billion annualised transaction value processed through its products Moniepoint and Monnify.
Moniepoint now serves 400,000 small and medium-sized businesses in Nigeria, providing them with various features.
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These companies and other fintech startups in Nigeria will continue to seek ways to improve customer experience and introduce more innovations into an industry that caters to the needs of unbanked and smaller banking consumers.
It is exciting to anticipate how fintech products respond to the new withdrawal limits of the CBN. Also, the need to provide financial products to underserved communities in Africa makes the field large enough for all Fintech players to make profits and impact in 2023.
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