The wave of technology is sweeping through every industry and disrupting the traditional ways of doing business. However, the financial industry is not left out.
Since 2007 after the apex bank, CBN launched the Payment Systems Vision 2020 (PSV 2020), the financial industry of Nigeria has taken a huge turn towards technology. Many Fintech companies have risen to drive easier, faster, and more efficient banking through the use of the internet and other technologies.
But among these FinTech startups, who are those leading in the fierce competition?
In this article, we have listed the top fintech apps in Nigeria that are having a better cut of the industry’s cake.
By the way, what is a FinTech app?
In a simple term, it is either a web or mobile application technology that in any way aids the access to financial services and finances in the market. This technology is gradually moving banking halls from buildings to the comfort of our homes, to our mobile devices and desktops.
Categories of FinTech Apps
FinTech which means Financial Technology is a term that houses every technology used in every sector of the finance industry. It cuts across different areas and can be categorised in these forms:
- Savings and Investment
- Cryptocurrency and virtual wallet
- Mobile banking
List of leading Nigerian Fintech Apps
Here is our roundup of the top Fintech companies in Nigeria leading the competition in 2021.
Before Interswitch was founded in 2002 by Mitchell Elegbe, banking in Nigeria was a paper-ledger and cash-based business. The technology introduced by Interswitch, however, digitized the payment process in the Nigerian banking ecosystem.
As one of the foremost fintech in Nigeria, Interswitch is one of those leading the competition. After 20% of the company’s shares was acquired by Visa in 2019 for $200 million, Interswitch rose to a value of $1 billion.
The company has also bought some businesses and partnered with other companies. Hence it has footprints in countries like Germany, Uganda, Kenya, and The Gambia. Interswitch also developed Verve payment solution; the largest domestic card scheme in Africa. The card is accepted 100% in Nigeria and 185 countries across the globe.
Paystack has come to be one of the fastest-growing fintech in Nigeria. The company was founded in 2016 by two tech-enthusiast friends, Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi. According to Paystack, they help businesses in Africa receive payments from anyone anywhere in the world.
According to Shola, the best way he could describe their technology was to call it the Stripe of Africa. Stripe, however, is a top American online payment processing company. In October 2020, Stripe acquired Paystack for $200 million.
Paystack boasts of being trusted by over 60,000 businesses across Africa. By October 2018, they had collected over 2.9 million payments and paid out over $27.5 million.
Flutterwave is an online and offline payment solution that enables African merchants and business owners to collect payments from anywhere around the world. The company was founded in 2016 by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, the co-founder of Andela, and Olugbenga Agboola, an ex-banker.
With Flutterwave, you can receive payment in over 150 currencies including Dollar, Euro, Yuan, and Naira. Presently, top brands like Uber, GIGM, Jumia, Hotels.ng, Booking.com, ALAT, and so on work with them.
According to the company’s data, Flutterwave processed about 107 million payments that are worth about $5.4 billion in 2019. In that same year, the company raised $35 million and partnered with Worldpay and Visa to expand to different parts of Africa. Presently, Flutterwave’s total investment amounts to $64.7 million.
e-Tranzact is an award-winning Nigerian FinTech in the payment space. With the technology, you can simply, safely and quickly complete payment either online or offline.
Meanwhile, e-Tranzact is a multi-application, multi-channel electronic transaction switching and payment processing technology, that enables an extension of the payment network. It easily adds new payment methods and payment providers without enormous integration costs.
The company was founded in 2003. As such, it is one of the premier payments switching and payment processing platforms in Nigeria. Today, it operates in different parts of the world including the UK, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire.
In 2018, e-Tranzact processed about 400 million transactions worth N30 trillion. And in July 2020, the company’s total asset stood at N6.7 billion.
Remita is yet another top-rated Nigerian financial technology product that has monopolized a great chunk of its market. This software was developed by SystemSpecs, a company poised to take human capital management and financial software solutions in Africa to a higher level.
Meanwhile, Remita is an electronic payment technology that enables individuals and businesses to receive and make payments easily. You can integrate the app on your website or your app and begin to receive payments.
The application is also designed to help you pay utility bills like electricity, water, TV, and so on. Remita has become a popular means through which universities, government agencies, NGOs and SMEs receive payments. According to a report by CBN, Remita recorded over 48 million transactions worth over N20.7 billion.
Paga is another Nigerian FinTech app that made it to this list because it took a good turn towards the unbanked population of Nigeria; it captured a unique market in the industry. Nevertheless, it did not neglect the banked community.
The app is a mobile payment technology that allows you to transfer money electronically, and make payments using your mobile phone. It must not be a smartphone; just any phone can use Paga services.
Paga was founded by Tayo Oviosu in 2009. However, it was publicly launched in 2011. Since then, the company has continued to grow into more remote places through the Paga agent system. Tayo the founder of Paga disclosed that the platform recorded transactions worth over $2 billion in 2019.
Currently, Paga has about 17 million customers and 27,000 agents in Nigeria. It has also taken concrete steps towards expanding to Ethiopia and Mexico.
While the previously discussed applications are leading in the payment sector of the finance market, PiggyVest is therefore one among those on top in the personal finance sector. PiggyVest simply helps you to save money and invest it in low-risk profitable businesses.
The platform was launched in 2016 as PiggyBank. For three years, the technology only allowed you to save money and earn interest. In 2019, however, they rebranded to PiggyVest by adding an investment feature on the app; a feature that allows you to invest your savings and earn up to 25% returns after 6 to 12 months.
You can begin to save at least N50 daily on PiggyVest and earn between 6 to 13% interest per annum. Presently, the app has over 500,000 downloads on Google Playstore.
Cowrywise is another Nigerian personal finance app rocking the scene at the moment. Just like PiggyVest, Cowrywise allows you to save and invest. The app was launched in 2017 with Ahmed Razaq as the CEO and Edward Popoola as the CTO.
You can begin to save from N100 daily and to earn up to 15% interest per annum. Moreover, to help you build discipline and target, the app is designed to help you save for a particular goal(s). For example, the Halal Savings allows Muslims to save without the attachment of interest rate.
You can earn more on your savings by investing in a mutual fund investment parcelled through the Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) on the platform. In Nigeria, over 200,000 people are using Cowrywise savings app.
SumoTrust is a FinTech project launched in 2019 by Igwe Chrisent, an entrepreneur based in Abuja. The app is designed to help you build a better saving culture, enable you to reach your savings goals and achieve wealth.
You can start saving as low as N100 daily and earn up to 15% interest. The saving system is automated giving you the freedom for other things. Nevertheless, you can choose to save manually, at your desired pace.
The platform also offers two unique features; NUBAN account which works like a normal bank account and access to free courses worth about N150,000.
SumoTrust also allows you to do joint savings, in case you want to save as a group or organization. In one year, SumoTrust was able to gain over 5000 users in Nigeria.
Kuda Bank is a digital-only bank launched in September 2019. It was co-founded by Babs Ogundeyi. In a space of one year, the FinTech startup was able to garner over 500,000 users across all devices. However, Kuda is the best-performing digital bank in Nigeria beating the likes of ALAT, Eyowo, etc.
With your smartphone and Kuda app (available on Android and iOS), you can access any financial service you want. You can deposit, withdraw with an ATM card, transfer, and get quick loans all for free without any paperwork.
The digital bank also allows you to earn up to 15% interest on all your savings per annum. As reported by Tech Crunch in November 2020, Kuda raised $10 million and processes transactions worth $500 million monthly.
Like Kuda Bank, Carbon is a digital banking platform popularly known for their loan services. The company was formerly known as Paylater. Moreover, it was founded in 2012 by Chijioke Dozie and Ngozi Dozie.
Carbon platform allows individuals and SMEs to have easy access to credit with which they can grow their businesses. Aside from that, you can perform other conventional financial transactions using the app. It is available on iOS, Android, web and via USSD.
By saving on Carbon, you become eligible to earn at least 2% interest per annum on your savings. You can enjoy a higher interest rate of up to 11% p.a if you invest using the app.
According to Carbon website, they presently have 340,000 trusted users. Nevertheless, in 2019 the company disbursed a loan worth about N23 billion. In that same year, they recorded 5.5 million transactions worth about N51 billion.
OPay or OperaPay is a mobile-based payment platform that allows you to pay utility bills, withdraw, deposit or transfer money, fund your e-wallets, and take care of other payments involving transportation, groceries and even food.
Through the app, the company seeks to take financial services to the unbanked population of Africa that currently towers above 60% of the total population.
OPay has operated in Nigeria since 2010 but through PayCom Nigeria Ltd. However, in 2018 OPay acquired the company and then it became more popular. Meanwhile, OPay is owned by Opera Group.
As at January 2021, OPay had about 350,000 agents dispersed across the country. It also boasts of having over 5 million customers. However, in 2019 the company said they had an average daily transaction worth $10 million; that was with 140,000 agents. In 2020, the figure may have doubled.
The Nigerian FinTech landscape does not only extend hands into the banking sector; the cryptocurrency market is also receiving its effect. Quidax, however, is one of such FinTech products leading in the cryptocurrency market of Nigeria.
The platform was founded by Buchi Okoro and launched in July 2017. On Quidax, you can buy, sell and exchange different cryptocurrency instruments using Naira. Therefore, no other fiat currency is accepted on Quidax except Naira. Users with other fiat currencies can use the platform’s crypto wallet feature.
By January 2021, Quidax was able to raise to $670,000. At this same period, the platform had about 302,421 monthly average visits, a number which grew by 4.49% monthly. Since it provided a comfortable ground for Nigerians to share in the crypto market, they are steadily skyrocketing to the top.
Nigeria is indeed a tech giant in Africa. It has grown and nurtured many financial technology products that are making waves across Africa.
However, this list of leading FinTech Apps in Nigeria is not exclusive. Of course, there are many worthy applications used and enjoyed by Nigerians but aren’t listed here. It does not annul the fact that they are great.
But Paystack, e-Tranzact, Remita, Interswitch, Paga, Flutterwave, PiggyVest, Cowrywise, SumoTrust, Kuda Bank, Carbon, OPay, and Quidax seem to be FinTech Apps leading in the diverse finance industry of Nigeria today.