Sparkle, a digital ecosystem that offers financial, business, and lifestyle support services to Nigerian retailers and small businesses, launched Wednesday, June 3, 2020, adding to the long list of digital innovations in Nigeria’s financial services space.
The new service offer “comprehensive support for individuals, including flexible payments, savings, and analytics to provide greater freedom, flexibility, and control over finances and lifestyle once and for all,” the bank said in a released statement, having received a banking license from the central bank.
Sparkle operates via a mobile app – available for iOS and Android users – that gives customers full and free access to one account offering multiple services – such as Sparkle Stash, a savings tool aimed towards specific goals – and different wallets.
Users are also provided with visibility over spending patterns, with a detailed breakdown of payments by category; the ability to split payments and bills, make utilities, bill payments, send and receive money in the Sparkle network and with other local banks as well as access to Indy – a 24/7 financial buddy and customer services chatbot.
“Sparkle is redefining Nigerian commerce by merging financial services with a seamless lifestyle solution,” said Founder Uzoma Dozie, former Diamond Bank chief executive before the merger with Access Bank. “We are removing barriers using technology and data, and driving inclusion at scale. In doing so, we are empowering Nigerians to fulfill their potential by democratizing access to valuable solutions for both business and personal needs.”
Starting with current accounts and savings accounts, Sparkle plans to co-create with customers and collaborate with partners to improve value-added services and increase its user base. The company has secured partnerships with VISA, Microsoft, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers Nigeria, which will provide it with “industry-leading expertise in APIs, cloud computing, data science, machine learning, tax, and financial advisory services for the benefit of Sparkle’s customers.”
“We are working with global partners to unleash freedom, flexibility, and transparency in Nigeria,” said Dozie, a tech entrepreneur and notable figure in online TV show Tech Turks. “We are helping to drive forward the growth of Nigeria’s budding entrepreneurs and individuals. Sparkle will be transformational for Nigerians across the globe.”
In addition to its business agenda, Sparkle is contributing to social causes through collaborations. It recently joined Women’s World Banking, working to ensure greater financial inclusion for women, their families, and communities in emerging markets as well as Open Banking Nigeria, partnering with Nigeria’s financial services industry to transform and advocate open banking in the country and Africa.