Looking for the top fintech companies in Nigeria? This guide has everything you need to know; from Nigerian fintech companies down to their CEOs, and what you need to know if you wish to start a fintech company in Nigeria.
No much ado, let’s get right to it.
A Background to Fintech Companies in Nigeria.
The fintech industry is a crossbreed of two important industries – the financial and technological industries. The industry has advanced rapidly following technological innovations and has made life and managing finance easier.
Fueled by the internet of things, big data, and global digitalization, the industry, in the last decade, has grown by over 100x. It has experienced a growth from $1.8 billion in 2010 to $19 billion in 2015. The size of the industry globally is valued at $127.66 billion and it is expected to grow to $309.98 billion by 2022 – an annual average growth of 24%.
Looking to finance that important project? A fintech can help.
Looking to save or invest money? A fintech company can help.
Looking to make payments, transfer money, or withdraw money in Nigeria? There is a Nigerian fintech company to make it easy.
All these and many more are some of the benefits of fintech companies in Nigeria and across the world.
The question you probably have in mind is, ‘What is a fintech company?’
What is A Fintech Company?
According to Investopedia, ‘Financial Technology (Fintech) is used to describe new technology that seeks to improve and automate financial services delivery and use. Fintechs are used to help companies, business owners and individuals better manage their financial operations, processes, and lives using specialized software and algorithms used in computers and smartphones.
Over the years, fintech has advanced from being owned and run by established financial institutions, to be a more consumer-oriented services provider.
Thus, fintechs are no longer always a branch of established financial institutions.
There are now standalone fintechs that provide core fintech services.
Traditional commercial banks in Nigeria have followed the trend, adapting and innovating to guarantee their survival in an industry filled with robust fintech startups and digital banks.
The investment banks in Nigeria are inclusive as the sector has become a survival of the fittest and investors and venture capitalists are pouring in lots of funds into the industry.
The fintech industry now includes different sectors like retail banking, fundraising, education, nonprofit, investment management, crypto banking, and lots of others.
Fintech now has applications in diverse other industries.
Coming down, both old and new Fintech companies in Nigeria aim to improve financial procedures and increase industry automation of financial processes.
The country has seen rapid growth in the industry which is simultaneous to technological advances in the financial sector.
History and Evolution of Fintech in Nigeria
Fintech industry growth in Nigeria, just likely globally, has been on a continuous rise. There has been a steady influx of fintech startups in Nigeria, with each looking to offer better services and outdo existing ones.
These financial technology companies in Nigeria have made things easy for everyone has worked towards extending the financial sector to other industries.
For the purpose of this article, we will divide the history of fintech in Nigeria into three sections;
- Fintech Past
- Fintech present and
- The future of fintech in Nigeria.
Historically, the advent of the Nigerian fintech industry started when some Nigerian banks start to leverage technology to make banking easier; from telephone to computer and in recent times, ATMs.
This evolution can be traced to post-1986 following the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) era which tightened things and triggered heightened banking sector competition.
Following that was the launching of the Payment Systems Vision 2020 (PSV 2020) in 2007.
This move by the CBN was the birth of another era in the Fintech industry. This is because it was the first time the banking regulatory body set a policy geared towards achieving a cashless society.
Since then, there has been a steady influx of fintech companies in Nigeria with each one developing an entirely different idea.
This has led to the country having an estimate of over 200-250 fintech companies and operators operational in the country.
There are now several fintech startups and companies in Nigeria with each offering its unique selling points and making banking and financing seamless.
Categories of Fintech Companies in Nigeria
Fintech companies cut across different industries and offer services that are beneficial in diverse ways.
The industry has different sub-sectors ranging from banking to insurance, investments, crowdfunding, money transfers, agritech, cryptocurrency, etc.
Comprehensively, some categories of fintech companies in Nigeria include;
- Research and Development
- Online Banking
- Digital money
- Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
Regulation of Fintech Companies in Nigeria
Undeniably, such an industry involving lots of funds can’t operate without a regulatory body.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regulates fintech companies in Nigeria.
As a measure of managing risks, the CBN places a financial barrier for every fintech startup in Nigeria to have a minimum of $275,000 before entry into the market.
This is to ensure funds are secure and operators are credible.
List of Top Fintech Companies in Nigeria
We have been able to discuss the background, categories, history, and regulations of Nigerian fintech companies, we will now proceed with the top fintech companies in Nigeria.
These companies are top fintech startups in Nigeria that have enhanced financial services accessibility, promoted financial inclusion, and enabled seamless payment processes.
It is worthy to note that as of 2018, 3 fin-tech companies in Nigerian – Paystack, Paga, and Branch – were among the list of the world’s fastest-growing fintech startups.
In 2020, Paystack was later acquired by global fintech giants, Stripe, for a reported $200+ million in what was termed the biggest fintech acquisition in Nigeria’s history.
Below are the top fintech companies in Nigeria in 2021
PayStack is a fintech payment solution and is undeniably the top fintech company in Nigeria. The tech company is leading and has been ever-growing since its launching.
In 2020, Stripe, a global fintech giant, acquired the company, putting it on the list of top companies in Nigeria.
According to PayStack, ‘Building a business is hard, getting paid shouldn’t be.’
These are the words of the tech company and they live up to them. PayStack helps businesses accept payments across Africa.
You can receive payments via invoices and creating payment pages using the online payment gateway.
The company was founded in 2015 and has grown to be amongst the top tech companies in Nigeria playing in the fintech sector.
It is one of the top financial service providers in Nigeria, the first tech company in Nigeria to enter into Silicon Valley’s Y combinatory program, and is also among the 2 Nigerian companies on the list of the world’s top 250 fintech companies.
The company has over 17,000 businesses using its services including MTN, Betway, Domino Pizza, and lots of others. They are one of the top tech companies in Lagos and have offices in Nigeria and beyond.
They have offices in Lagos Nigeria, Sandton South Africa, Accra Ghana, and San Francisco United States.
126 Joel Ogunnaike Street, Ikeja GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.
201 Spear Street, Suite 1100, PMB 3228, San Francisco, CA 94105.
45 Kingfisher Dr, Fourways Sandton, 2055, South Africa.
Community Spaces, Nikoi St, East Legon, Accra, Ghana.
The CEO of PayStack is Shola Akinlade. He is also the co-founder together with his longtime friend, Ezra Olubi who is the company’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
Flutterwave is one of the fintech companies that must be on all lists of fintech companies in Nigeria. Any list that doesn’t have the company is incomplete.
The company is one of the top payment platforms in Nigeria and was started by Andela co-founder, Iyin Aboyeji and Olugbenga Agboola in 2016.
The fintech company provides a payment service for global merchants and payment service providers. It provides infrastructure, technology, and services to enable global merchants, payment service providers, banks, and businesses to build secure smooth payment solutions for their customers. This, in so doing, makes the exchange of funds seamless.
The company’s headquarters is in San Francisco, California and some of its investors include Andela, Visa, Grey Croft, and eVentures, and several others.
It is worthy to note that Flutterwave is amongst the top fintech companies in Nigeria that help enterprises in Africa go global by making the exchange of funds possible in 150+ monetary standards.
8, Providence Street, Lekki Phase One, Lagos, Nigeria.
1323, Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
The CEO is Flutterwave is Olugbenga Agboola. He is also a co-founder and has been the CEO since 2018.
Paga Launched in Nigeria provides financial services for African residents and at the same time tap into the buildup of cash in the Nigerian financial industry.
It is no news that the Nigerian banking sector can be difficult to access all over Nigeria. Platforms like Paga make cash access easier and smoother for everyone.
Their mission is to make it simple and easy for persons to access and use money by providing the public with a smooth and stress-free money transfer experience.
Paga is a leading payment and mobile money business in Nigeria.
With the fintech company, you can pay bills, make bank deposits and withdrawals, purchase prepaid phone credit, pay utility and cable bills, make payments to retailers, and even pay in certain online stores.
It is impossible for the company not to make any list of 10 or 15 top fintech companies in Nigeria as they have over 9 million customers and 17,000 agents.
They claim to have been the first mobile payment company in Nigeria to achieve the one million user milestone.
Paga Office Locations
Lagos Office (Head Office)
176, Herbert Macaulay Way, 3rd Floor, Yaba, Lagos Mainland, Lagos State
90/91 Choice plaza, Challenge, Ibadan, Oyo State
Plot 340, No 40, Krystal Lounge, Aminu Kano crescent, Opposite Union Bank, Wuse 2, Abuja
119A Ibrahim Taiwo road, Beside Access Bank, Ilorin, Kwara State
27, stadium road, Opposite the Atrium Event Centre, Port Harcourt, River State
The CEO of Paga is Tayo Oviosu.
He is also a co-founder together with Jay Alabraba and they founded the company in 2009.
E-Tranzact is one of the first fintech companies that were launched in Nigeria to help people accept payments online.
The company was launched in 2003 and was designed to be a credible option for online transactions in contrast to all transactions which were then cash or cheque based.
E-Tranzact is a multi-application, multi-network, and multi-channel electronic payment platform that supports every significant financial network like MasterCard, Visa, and Amex.
They process payments requested via several channels including Web, ATM, POS, mobile-utilizing automated procedures, you name it.
It is a ‘switch’ platform that validates transaction requests subsequent to running security checks on the payment cards.
The company owns several other financial solutions like PocketMoni, Mobile Topup, BankIT, Corporate Pay, etc.
No doubt, Nigerian fintech companies cannot be mentioned without mentioning them as they sit at the peak of any list of payment gateways in Nigeria.
E-Tranzact Office Locations
5th Floor Fortune Towers, 27/29 Adeyemo Alakija Street, Victoria Island Lagos, Nigeria.
South Africa Office
Cradock Heights Building, 21 Cradock Avenue, Rosebank, Johanessburg, South Africa
Heritage Tower, Near Cedi House, Ambassadorial Enclave, off Liberia Road, Ridge, Accra, Ghana
The CEO of E-Tranzact is Mr. Olaniyi Toluwalope.
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Any list of the top 10 fintech companies in Nigeria is incomplete if Interswitch is not included.
Interswitch is an Africa-centered integrated commerce and digital payments company. The company encourages the electronic exchange of money in contrast to the exchange of money physically, which was popular when it started.
The digital payment company has its headquarter in Lagos and started operations in 2002 as a transaction switching and electronic payments processing company in Nigeria.
Their vision is to fabricate and manage payment infrastructure just as convey inventive payment products and transaction services all through Africa.
They use a ‘switching’ infrastructure to connect the different banks in Nigeria and provide technology for ATM cards.
In November 2019, Visa invested $200 million in the company for a 20% stake. This moved the company’s value to not less than $1 billion making it amongst the top 5 fintech companies in Nigeria.
The company is one of the oldest fintech companies in Nigeria and is a big deal amongst payment gateway providers in Nigeria.
It is noteworthy that the company owns Quickteller, the Verve debit card, Retailpay, Smartgov, and over 11,000 ATMs in Nigeria.
1648C Oko Awo St, Victoria Island, Lagos, Lagos State.
CEO of Interswitch
The CEO of interswitch is Mitchell Elegbe.
Remita is a software that helps organisations, MSMEs, Multinationals, Government agencies, NGOs, Educational Institutions, etc to make and receive payments electronically.
The software has been voted severally as Nigeria’s software of the year and is a pacesetter in the Nigerian Fintech industry. It is one of the top companies in Nigeria and has been used by almost everyone that passed through a higher institution in Nigeria.
The software was developed by SystemSpecs and has been around since 1991 serving as a B2B fintech company that sells software to organizations.
Plot B22, Yesufu Abiodun Oniru Road, Oniru, Lagos, Nigeria.
Floors 4-8, 136 Lewis Street, Lagos Island, Nigeria.
3rd Floor, Labour House, CBD, Abuja, Nigeria.
CEO of Remita (Who Owns Remita)
The CEO of Remita is John Obaro. He is the founder and CEO of SystemSpecs, the indigenous software company that developed the Remita e-payment solution.
GetCarbon, which was previously called Paylater, is a loan app considered to be amongst the best loan apps in Nigeria. The company gives short loans via its mobile app, thereby making the process paperless, easy, and quick.
The loan app company started operation in Nigeria in 2016 and boasts of being simple to use, quick, and well designed.
It is one of the apps where you can borrow money online instantly in Nigeria. Not having access to loan cash quick is a crucial problem faced by many Nigerians.
The good news about the money lending fintech company is that they give you credit without meeting you personally. Many consider them the best loan app in Nigeria.
GetCarbon (Paylater) Office
Plot 642C, Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos
CEO of GetCarbon (Paylater)
The CEO of GetCarbon (Paylater) is Chijioke Dozie. He is the co-founder together with Ngozi Dozie.
Vogue Pay is an online payments processor that revolutionized the payments landscape.
The Nigerian fintech company was established in 2012 and is accessible to lots of local customers. They have an easy to use, simple platform and in their first year, acquired 17000 users.
The platform offers free integration for merchants and is popular in Nigeria.
The payment solution provider allows unregistered businesses to accept and make payments online.
With just a bank account, National ID, and any utility bill, one can create a VoguePay account and get started.
33A, Abba Johnson Crescent, Akora Estate, Off Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja, Lagos State – Nigeria.
Level 39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf. London, E14 5Ab, UK
Harju Maakond, Tallinn, Kesklinna linnaosa, Tina tn 9, 10126 Estonia
CEO of VoguePay
The CEO of VoguePay is Michael Femi Simeon
Piggyvest is an online savings platform. The platform empowers savers to put away funds they don’t want to use at the moment and use it later.
With Piggyvest, you can save as low as $1 per day and even limit when you want to withdraw your savings to set dates.
This way, Piggyvest helps persons minimize their spending and save more.
They also have investment options that empower users to invest their money and get a return on an investment after investment maturity.
Unlike the traditional banking system, Piggyvest enables you to keep up your savings, maintain discipline, and save towards anything important to you.
The company was formerly known by the name Piggybank.ng.
The good thing is that they automate the process of saving the amounts according to daily, weekly, or monthly.
Tesmot house, Abdulrahman Okene Close, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
CEO of Piggyvest (Who owns Piggybank ng)
The CEO of Piggyvest is Odunayo Eweniyi. The Nigerian fintech startup was founded on Feb 15th, 2016 by Ayo Akinola, Joshua Chibueze, Nonso Eagle, Odunayo Eweniyi, and Somto Ifezue.
Kuda bank was formerly called Kudi Money and is a popular fintech company in Nigeria. The company changes its name from Kudi Money to Kudi bank after it got its license from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The amazing feature about the fintech product is that it is designed for an average smartphone and is free of ridiculous charges. It is suitable for you if you want an app to help you budget, spend smartly, and save more.
It is an entirely online bank that you can open in minutes and start transacting right away.
The online bank, with its many benefits, is sure to make a list of top fintech companies in Nigeria.
CEO of Kuda Bank
The founder and CEO of Kuda Bank is Babs Ogundeyi.
Bank with Mint
This is another top fintech company and digital bank in Nigeria. The bank boasts of being the online bank that puts the users in control.
They remove all hidden charges and give you total control of your funds. This has made them popular amongst fintech banks in Nigeria.
With the Mint App, you will see your inflow and outflow in simple terms. Furthermore, you can set spending limits, lock your card, and plan your finances ahead of time.
With Mint Digital Bank, you can put money aside for your big needs, as often as you like, with various frequency options and any amount you want.
According to Mint, “You can transfer money, request money from Mint customers, pay bills, top-up your phone, fund your virtual card, set up recurring payments, pay back your loans, and much much more. With one app”
Bank with Mint Offices
Head office: Plot 952 Idejo St, Victoria Island 101241, Lagos
Other Top Fintech Companies in Nigeria
Besides these fintech companies mentioned, there are several other fintech companies, platforms, and products in Nigeria.
Some of these Nigeria fintechs include;
- Farm Crowdy
- Chipper cash
- Sumo Trust
- Chams Mobile
- And so many others
How to Start a Fintech Company in Nigeria
With the recent surge in the number of fintechs in Nigeria, the question ‘how do I start a fintech company in Nigeria,’ has been asked often.
This is partly because the Nigerian fintech industry is a fast-growing one and partly because the Nigerian tech and software industry is growing fast.
If you want to start a fin-tech company in Nigeria, here is a quick guide for you.
A Quick Guide to Starting a Fintech Company in Nigeria
Step 1: Identify a Suitable Niche
As mentioned in the introductory sections of this article, the fintech industry has different sectors including Payments, CreditTech, InsureTech, Personal Finances Management, Crypto, AgriTech, etc.
Identifying a sector in the industry will help you channel your effort and develop a quality product that’ll compete among top tech companies in Nigeria.
First, you need to identify a target audience and a problem, then develop a solution to the problem.
Step 2: Get Familiar with the Regulations
After narrowing down to a niche and finding out a problem to solve, the next step is finding out the regulations guiding the industry and the specific niche you selected.
Who regulates fintech companies in Nigeria?
This is the question you ask at this stage. This is because the banking and finance industry is a critical one and is strictly regulated.
You will review the regulations and find out if you meet up with them.
The toughness of the laws and regulations guiding the financial industry helps to mitigate fraud and crime in the sector.
The Step 3: Develop a Unique Selling Point (USP)
This is what many won’t tell you. The truth is that the fintech industry is getting more competitive with each passing month.
To thrive, you need to develop/discover your USP. This will give you an edge in the market.
As an entrepreneur, think outside the box and offer something unique that will solve a problem others haven’t solved.
Step 4: Apply and Obtain the Required Licenses
I have to say the application and obtaining of a license for a fintech company in Nigeria is not an easy feat.
The license you will need depends on the niche you wish to concentrate on.
Seeking licenses might take you across different regulatory bodies including CBN and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) if your intending fintech company will offer a service that includes mobile phone numbers.
Step 5: Register Your Business Name
Just like every other business in Nigeria, your fintech company must be registered in Nigeria under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Registering your business in Nigeria involves several steps, structured to ensure there is no clash of business names.
The Step 6: Hire the Right Talent along with the Right Technology
Developing a fintech company involves lots of software development. You will need to hire the right software and cybersecurity experts.
Furthermore, you need to seek out the best technology to use to offer your customers the best and have a secured product.
No fintech startup relies on third-party frameworks, so it is crucial that you develop your frameworks and software from scratch.
With finance, comes a high risk of data breach. You sure don’t want to be caught up in that.
Step 7: Start by Creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
This is the step where you develop and roll out the product.
Starting with a Minimum Viable Product is recommended so you can create a product with the basic features.
Then from feedbacks, you will improve on what you have to suit your market.
After these steps, you can proceed with two crucial follow-up steps;
- Seeking investors and
- Building partnerships
With these steps fulfilled, you are on your way to owning a Nigerian fintech company.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding Fintech Companies in Nigeria
How Many Fintech Companies are in Nigeria?
Nigeria is home to over 200 fintech companies that cut across different niches of the fintech industry.
Besides standalone fin-tech companies, there are also several other fintech solutions offered by banks and mobile network operators in Nigeria as part of their product portfolio.
Who regulates Fintech companies in Nigeria?
Fintech has a unique scale, scope, and dynamism. Because of this, the sector is often regulated by multiple governments regulating agencies. This is dependent on the type of fintech company and can be within certain types and across types.
Some of the agencies that regulate fintech companies in Nigeria include;
- The CAC, which regulates the incorporation of and official record-keeping for all companies in Nigeria.
- The CBN, which regulates all banking and finance companies in Nigeria.
- An Insurance agency (Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation – NDIC) which insures funds.
- Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which regulates fintech companies that has to do with phone numbers.
- The SEC (Security and Exchange Commission)
- The NAICOM (National Insurance Commission)
- The NITDA (National Information Technology Development Agency)
- The (FCCPC) Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission
What is Fintech Nigeria?
Fintech Nigeria is an unpopular name given to the Nigerian fintech industry. Fintech Nigeria is made up of several businesses with mobile payments, mobile lending, payment processing, and personal finance being the most popular fintech businesses in Nigeria.
How do I start a Fintech Company in Nigeria?
To start a fintech company in Nigeria, you need to meet up with the criteria for starting a Nigerian fintech company.
We divided it into 7 steps;
- Step 1: Identify a Suitable Niche
- Step 2: Get Familiar with the Regulations
- The Step 3: Develop a Unique Selling Point (USP)
- Step 4: Apply and Obtain the Required Licenses
- Step 5: Register Your Business Name
- The Step 6: Hire the Right Talent along with the Right Technology
- Step 7: Start by Creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Follow Up Steps
- Seeking investors and
- Building partnerships
How much is FinTech worth?
The fintech industry, in the last decade, has grown by over 100x. It has experienced a growth from $1.8 billion in 2010 to $19 billion in 2015. The size of the industry globally is valued at $127.66 billion and it is expected to grow to $309.98 billion by 2022 – an annual average growth of 24%.
In Nigeria, fintech investments grew to approximately $460 million in 2019, majorly from external investors. While this may be seen as a big deal, it is reported that it is a small fraction of the $36 billion invested in the global fintech industry in 2019.
CNBC reports prove further, how much fintech is worth.
What does FinTech mean?
According to Investopedia, ‘Financial Technology (Fintech) is used to describe new technology that seeks to improve and automate financial services delivery and use.
Fintechs are used to help companies, business owners and individuals better manage their financial operations, processes, and lives using specialized software and algorithms used in computers and smartphones.
How is Fintech Regulated in Nigeria?
The questions, ‘Is there a body that regulates fintech companies in Nigeria?’ and ‘How are fintech companies regulated?’ are popular ones.
Basically, various agencies regulate fintech companies.
These agencies include;
- And a few others.
Wrapping up on Fintech Companies in Nigeria
In conclusion, Nigeria is blessed with many fin-tech companies. With the high rate of growth of the global and Nigerian fintech industry, more fintech solutions are yet to come.
We keep our fingers crossed and hope innovations in the industry mean more benefits for the Nigerian population.
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