Vice President Yemi Osinbajo recently addressed key players in the technology arena at the Silicon Valley to support and investment into Nigeria’s budding technology companies, Hence, Paul Oluwakoya in this report analyses some of the home-grown(Nigeria) Financial Technology innovations for the global market.
The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo recently visited Los Angeles, USA with a delegation drawn from both public and private sectors. He visited a couple of places in the smart city, including Hollywood and the Silicon Valley, with a mission to showcase and promote Nigerian creative and technology industries.
The technology industry in Nigeria has come of age, and the vice president has recently spoken about some of the amazing Tech products emanating from the country, especially in the area of financial services. The Financial technology sector in Nigeria is growing and this is evident in rates at which solutions to harness financial ecosystem are being developed even as the digital payment adoption increases by the day.
Between 2014 and 2016, FinTech investment in Africa increased from $198 million in 2014 to $800 million. And industry watchers said a number of factors influenced the fintech boom, stating that the cashless policy of the government encourages the adoption of digital payment processes rather than the use of cash for transactions.
Also, Nigeria and indeed the rest of Sub-saharan Africa is increasing its capacity to make use of ICT. About 70% of Nigerian traders own a mobile phone and smartphone penetration has hit 28%. With many Nigerians connecting with friends and family overseas, there is a huge amount of money flowing from other countries into Nigeria.
In 2015, annual diaspora remittances to Nigeria was estimated at $21 billion. There has also been a large flow of investments into the sector, with over $100 million raised from Venture Capital investors by Nigerian Fintech startups.
As the Vice President addressed the key players in the technology arena to canvass for support and investment into Nigeria’s budding technology companies, here are five innovative Fintech products that investors may eye
Remita is the flagship brand and product of one of the oldest technology companies in Nigeria; SystemSpecs. It attained prominence when it was adopted by the Federal Government in 2015, as the technology infrastructure for its Treasury Single Account(TSA) policy whereby all government revenues are collected and remitted to a single integrated account. Remita has achieved some tremendous results as the TSA’s technology backbone. Since 2015, it has processed over N8.9 trillion for the Federal Government and saves the government over $11 million monthly from bank charges that it would have paid without the TSA. Its distinct feature, which enables access to multiple accounts via a single platform was incorporated in a mobile app recently released by one of the largest banks in the world; HSBC and touted as a laudable achievement.
Remita is a payment system, as well as a gateway and a financial infrastructure. As a payment application, it is available as a web and mobile-based solution for individual consumers to make and receive payments via multiple bank accounts. As a payment gateway, Remita facilitates end to end connection for various payment systems. As a payment infrastructure, Remita carries out integrated financial functions in one seamless system.
Paga is a mobile payment solution to send money, pay bills and receive payments. The company was founded in 2009 by Tayo Oviosu but was publicly launched in 2011. Paga enables users to send as little as N500 to N1 million to anyone, anywhere in the country using their phone number. Recipients can collect their money at any Paga agent or at an ATM without a card. Paga prides itself as the ultimate cardless payment system. With Paga, users can buy airtime and data, pay electricity and other bills, and make deposit into their bank accounts. It has agents across the country who help people to facilitate remote financial transactions. Users can also shop at any Paga-compliant store using their phone numbers. As at July 2018, Paga has 8,793,181 subscribers and over 16,331 agents spread across the country.
Flutterwave is a Nigerian digital payment technology firm with the aim of changing payments in Africa. Its main product is an Application Programme Interface(API), which connects different payment systems together to facilitate seamless transactions. Flutterwave says is building the software infrastructure that allows two different applications to talk to each other. This enables businesses and individuals to make and accept payments from cards, mobile money wallets, and bank accounts, from anywhere in Africa and around the world, all from one integrated platform. With Flutterwave, Nigerians can pay online for anything in any country in their own currency. Flutterwave has received a lot of international attention, including a special feature on CNN in which its co-founder, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji was interviewed. In August 017, Flutterwave raised over $10 million in funding from American Venture Capitalists.
Piggybank is an online saving platform that combines discipline and flexibility for its users to grow their savings. The online platform gives users direct access and visibility to their account, making the process clearer and more transparent. Savers can deposit as little as $1 a day into a their online Piggybank.ng account, and cannot touch their savings, until an agreed withdrawal date. The penalty of premature withdrawal is a withdrawal charge of 5% on the savers account. There is also an annual interest of 6% accruing on the money saved in the Piggybank. In 2018, Piggybank was able to raise up to $1.1 million from almost exclusively Nigerian investors.
Paystack is an innovative online payment solution that enables Nigerian businesses to accept payments from anyone, anywhere in the world. It acts as a gateway to facilitate seamless transactions between two different people using different payment interfaces. With Paystack, Nigerian businesses can receive payments from verve, visa and mastercard branded debit cards. Their customers can also pay them directly with bank accounts. Recently, the company partnered with mobile phone identity firm, Truecaller to increase the capacity and security of its services. Paystack subscribers can now verify the mobile identity of their customers. In December 2016, Paystack secured a $1.6 million seed investment from both local and foreign investors.