Photograph — Let's Talk Payments

Technological advancement has enveloped different spheres of the society and birth new innovations aimed at hijacking the world away from the orthodox way of life. Across the world, discussions about the fourth industrial revolution are taking form especially with the fusion of artificial intelligence, Internet Of Things (IoT) and data analytics. Also, the focus on technology startups has increased in recent times.

Amongst the “emerging technological breakthroughs” in the wake of the fourth industrial revolution are Financial Technological (FinTech) startups across the globe. These startups have gained the attention of angel investors, venture capitalists and technological hubs, especially with the dynamic way financial related problems are being solved.

They have attracted billions of dollars in investment. In 2015, global FinTech investment topped $13.8 billion, a 106 percent increase from the previous year. In Nigeria, startups have also attracted investment from both local and foreign investors, more than 41 startups raised a total funding of $73.6 million in the second quarter of 2018 with 12 FinTech startups on the list.

VISA, a global payment technology system is one of the committed organization ensuring incubated ideas see the light of the day with its initiation of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative. It is a global innovation program that tasks start-ups to solve payments and commerce challenges of tomorrow. This has helped numerous startups across the world raised over $2 billion in funding since it was launched in the United States in 2015. Its impact has spread to over 40 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Four Nigerian FinTech startups have made it to the final of the sub-Saharan regional finals of the initiative which will be held on July 24 in Johannesburg, South Africa. These startups; VoguePay, CredPal, Loystar and Growsel were announced amongst the 12 finalists that battled for the final prize after scaling through the selection hurdles that received 238 total application. However, three winners with outstanding ideas were selected and given 25 000 USD each.

Gradually, FinTechs are disrupting the financial ecosystem providing customers easier and effective avenue to do transactions with Nigeria becoming fast becoming a home for some of these startups.  The systematic approach used in solving financial issues with the fluidity it affords customers have made it customers’ preference in the evolving system. In this article, we take a look at the activities of these startups and the vision of the founders and it adds up to the economy of the country.

VoguePay

VoguePay is a brainchild of Leke Ojikutu, a seasoned programmer and software developer. It has cemented its place among Africa’s leading payment processors through its services. With the core value of delivering exceptional service to customers, it is one of the platforms that secure transaction between buyers and sellers with no risk.

The platform offers a variety of services which ranges from business intelligence and analytics tools, global payments to acceptance of bitcoins for a transaction. VoguePay has a global coverage which allows consumers and businesses to safely make and receive payments in all major currencies, regardless of location.

VoguePay’s commitment to the reorganization of the financial space with the inclusion of digital technology has made the startup one of the leading FinTech innovation in Nigeria. In 2017, VoguePay.com peeped other numerous mobile money platforms to scoop the award for Best Fintech Start-up at the sixth edition of the Cashless Africa Award, organised by Mobile Money Africa in Lagos.

CredPal

CredPal emergence in the financial ecosystem was much needed as it took an innovative dimension to deal with the inadequate access to credit for offline and online purchases in the country. It fuses technology with the financial system to link users with financial institutions that offer credit in the country.

Founded in 2017 by Fehintolu Olaogun and Olorufemi Jegede, CredPal growth among Nigeria FinTechs has been outstanding becoming one of the startups to adequately address the problem of getting funds to buy goods and pay in instalments. It was set up on a strong foundational structure that leverage technology and machine learning to solve the rigid and complex process of acquiring credits in the country.

Platforms like CredPal ensures customers buy and pay later after signing up on its mobile platform. Earlier this year, CredPal was announced as one of 10 startups chosen from across the world for Queen’s FinTech Accelerator 2018 spring cohorts.

Loystar

Loystar’s uniqueness stands it out among the avalanche of startups currently disrupting the financial sector through technology. With the mobile app, Loystar took customers loyalty to a new level in a bid to help users boost sales and revenue.

The flexibility in the process of making things work on Loystar afford users a wide range of opportunities. The mobile application works perfectly and efficiently without internet access, it is also embedded with different loyalty program such that users engage customers directly and personally.

Founded 3 years ago by three young African entrepreneurs; Ayo Dawodu, Laud Bruce-Tagoe, Paul Damalie with the motive of helping small and medium businesses across the world become more profitable by enabling them to build customer loyalty and drive repeat sales in their business

Growsel

Growsel is an Agricultural technology (AgricTech) platform that supports young farmers grow their business. It makes easier the work of local farmers by helping them improve their farm output and production through peer-to-peer funding and crowdfunding.

Growsel was founded by Jerry Oche and its network of agricultural programmes includes training, farm demonstrations, access to enhanced farm inputs and creation of market access for off-loading of farm input. With the vision of serving underserved and under-financed small-scale farmers, Growsel is one of the leading startups in the country that use technology to address agricultural problems.

Other startups in the finals which were chosen from countries in sub-Saharan Africa are; Howler and FinChatBot from South Africa, M-Changa, Mookh, WayaWaya and LipaPlus from Kenya, Swipe2Pay from Uganda and Brig Africa from Zambia. 

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