Three Fintechs Driving Financial Inclusion in Nigeria

A report earlier this year from PwC highlighted the “changing competitive landscape” for fintech and banking in Nigeria. For those looking to learn more about both the growing impact of technology in financial services in one of the major countries in Africa, as well as the challenge created by COVID-19, PwC’s review provides an comprehensive overview.

The report also concludes with nine recommendations the analysts believe would encourage continued growth in Nigeria’s fintech ecosystem. These recommendations range from making it easier to invest in fintech companies to encouraging partnerships and “strengthen(ing) the synergy between banks and FinTech players” in a mutually beneficial way.

Financial inclusion is a huge part of both the challenge of – and the opportunity for – fintech in Nigeria. The report notes that more than 30 million adult Nigerians do not have or use either formal or informal financial services products or solutions. This represents more than a third of the country’s adult population. And while the report points out that mobile money operators have been among the businesses to help bring more financial services to the underbanked, there are some fintechs that have taken up the cause of financial inclusion, as well. A trio of these companies are highlighted below:


Bankly is a cash digitization and savings platform that caters to Nigeria’s unbanked. The company provides a digital wallet that is secure, convenient, and accessible, and all users require in order to open an account is a phone number. Bankly leverages more than 2,000 agents across 29 of the country’s 36 states to scale the company’s offering.

In operation for just over a year, Bankly has already picked up recognition from the 2019 Innovating Justice Awards sponsored by the Hague Institute for the Innovation of Law. The company has also participated in the GreenHouse Capital accelerator program. Tomilola Adejana (CEO) and Fredrick Adams are co-founders.


Covr Branchless offers banks, insurance companies, and government agencies a suite of applications that enable them to leverage cloud, GPS, and mobile channels to conduct a wide variety of financial processes. Account opening, instant debit card linking, cash withdrawals, fund transfer, billpay, KYC validation and loan origination are among the operations enabled by Covr’s technology.

Covr is owned by Advancio Interactive, a Nigerian technology company focused on sustainable financial access that was founded by Olufisayo Oludare (Managing Director). Covr won Advancio first place at the Startup Istanbul Challenge in the fall of 2017, only the second Africa-based startup to do so.


FairMoney is a online micro lender that provides instant loans from N1,500 to N500,000 (approximately $4 to $1,300), with average loans of about N12,000 ($33-$35). Using the company’s Android mobile app, prospective borrowers apply for financing by answering a few questions and providing some basic financial information. The app analyzes this information – as well as the borrowers geolocation and other factors – to make a loan offer in a matter of minutes.

But what makes the company especially interesting is the fact that it is working to launch a challenger bank. FairMoney raised $11 million in Series A funding last fall for this purpose and plans to expand its offerings to include current and savings accounts.


Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) encourages government to incentivize the use of QR code transactions and promotes the adoption of open, interoperable standards.
  • Amazon to offer car and motorcycle insurance in India courtesy of partnership with Acko General Insurance.
  • National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) facilitates recurring payments with its new UPI AutoPay feature.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazil’s Central Bank reverses course to authorize payments system involving WhatsApp.
  • Payscout teams up with Brazilian fintech Rede Celer to grow its payments business in the country.
  • Partnership between FacePhi and Naranja X will help bring biometric recognition technology to digital onboarding processes for firms in Argentina.

Asia-Pacific

  • Finovate: Ant Group’s Double IPO Listing Shuns U.S. Exchanges.
  • Trulioo brings its GlobalGateway identity verification technology to customers in Vietnam.
  • Crowdfund Insider takes a look at the impact of COVID-19 on fintech lending platforms in Indonesia.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Telco Orange and bancassurance company NSIA team up to launch Orange Bank Africa to serve underbanked communities in Abidjan and Cote d’Ivoire.
  • Vodacom partners with Ant Financial Services Group to bring Alipay services to South Africa.
  • Uganda-based digital cross-border money transfer startup Eversend raises $1 million via an oversubscribed Seeders crowdfunding campaign.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Germany’s Scalable Capital lands $460 million valuation with new $58 million funding round.
  • Russian bank Tinkoff unveils new functionalities for its financial and lifestyle services voice assistant Oleg.
  • EstateGuru, a P2P lending platform based in Estonia, launches a new payment service in partnership with Lemonway.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Oman’s BankDhofar extends partnership with Diebold Nixdorf to improve the customer experience of its ATM network. Bank Nizwa, also based in Oman, announced an extension of its digital payments partnership with Mastercard.
  • Turkey-based online payments platform Mobilexpress secures $2 million in Series A funding.
  • Spotii, an e-commerce technology provider based in the UAE, unveils new deferred payment option.

Photo by Tope A. Asokere from Pexels

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • DriveWealth Helps Indian Investors Access U.S. Stocks via New Partnership
  • Hydrogen Wins Spot in MasterCard Start Path’s Incoming Cohort

Around the web

  • Finicity announces that its Verification of Assets (VoA) solution is now live within Ellie Mae’s Encompass Consumer Connect.
  • Jack Henry’s Payment Solutions group launches an enhancement to its consumer billpay solution, iPay CardPay.
  • Diebold Nixdorf joins Utimaco’s U-Trust Partner Program.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Glance Powers Visual Customer Engagement for Axos Bank.

Around the web

  • Klarna added 60,000 new merchants in 2019,a group which now totals 190,000+.
  • Australia-based Heritage Bank signs 5-year services agreement with Diebold Nixdorf.
  • FIS integrates IBM’s Safer Payments solution with its P2P services to help prevent fraud.
  • Onfido partners with online currency exchange company b-sharpe to provide a better sign up experience using Onfido’s AI-powered identity verification.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Stripe Goes Live in Mexico; Revolut in Singapore; Lidya in Poland

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Fresh off a successful return to Singapore for FinovateAsia, we are happy to announce that FinovateMiddleEast will be back in Dubai next month, November 20 and 21. For more information about our upcoming fintech conference in the UAE, visit our FinovateMiddleEast page today.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Berlin-based, pan-European digital debt marketplace, CrossLend, picks up €34 million in round led by Santander.
  • Bank of Lithuania names IBM and Tieto as finalists in its LBChain technology initiative.
  • Islamic, mobile-only, challenger bank insha goes live in Berlin, Germany.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Partnership with Diebold Nixdorf helps Lebanese Bankmed become first bank in country to introduce cash recycling.
  • Bloomberg Intelligence recognizes the UAE as the world’s top Islamic fintech hub, with Bahrain as a rising challenger.
  • MAGNiTT and ADGM launch new publication focusing on fintech and venture capital funding in the MENA region.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Pakistan’s JS Bank launches chat banking via WhatsApp.
  • Western Union enables real-time payments and money transfers to India.
  • Paytm president Madhur Deora encourages Indian fintechs to appreciate the differences between Indian and Chinese markets “and adapt accordingly.”

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Stripe makes its Mexico debut.
  • Brazilian fintech Nubank reaches 15 million customer mark.
  • Posnet, a First Data/Fiserv company, helps Argentine consumers make purchases using digital wallets and QR codes.

Asia-Pacific

  • Revolut launches in Singapore after successful 30,000 customer beta.
  • CIMB Bank Singapore completes first structured trade finance transaction on blockchain.
  • In partnership with Compass Plus, Mongolia’s largest bank, Trade and Development Bank (TDB) introduces the nation’s first instant card issuance project.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigerian digital SME lender Lidya expands to Poland and the Czech Republic.
  • Fintech Futures features Absa’s Thabo Makoko on the challenges and opportunities in the African payment industry.
  • Ghana government makes plans for a cashless future.

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • MX Picks Up $100 Million in New Funding.
  • Ocrolus Reels in $24 Million Investment.

Around the web

  • CREALOGIX to power new digital and mobile capabilities for LGT Vestra’s wealth management app and client portal.
  • Strands announces achieving ISO 27001 certification in all offices.
  • Horizon Investments to implement Fiserv’s Unified Wealth Platform for core portfolio management.
  • Personetics announces that users of Salesforce and Microsoft CRM platforms will be able to access the company’s data-driven actionable insights via new APIs.
  • Diebold Nixdorf launches a new series of self-service, digitally-connected ATMs.
  • NetGuardians appoints Swissquote co-founder Paolo Buzzi to its board of directors.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

Around the web

  • Kofax closes acquisition of Top Image Systems.
  • Silicon Canals lists Kantox among 10 hottest Barcelona fintech startups to work for in 2019.
  • PYMNTS interviews Entersekt’s country manager of Canada Christian Ali.
  • Tunisian bank selects Temenos to drive digital transformation and future growth.
  • Diebold Nixdorf expands partnership with Belgian-owned Belfius Bank and Insurance to improve the UX for the bank’s 3.5 million consumers.
  • BlueVine and Nationwide partner to launch Pitch to Win small business contest with $100,000 prize.
  • Kabbage partners with the Building Trades Employers’ Association to provide members, specifically women and minority-owned business contractors, access to funding.
  • Micronotes sees triple-digit YOY client growth in Q1 2019

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Global: Jumio Lands in Brazil; TurnKey Lender Raises Capital

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Central and South Asia

  • Pakistan-based payment system operator and PSP Mobi Direct selects Worldline for its digital infrastructure platform.
  • State Bank of India partners with Hitachi Payment Services on joint venture to support digital payments in India. SBI also picked Financial Software and Systems to implement its “One Nation, One Card” digital payments program.
  • Inc42 lists 5 Trends in Fintech You Will See in 2019.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Jumio opens office in Brazil and operations center in Barranquilla, Colombia, as part of expansion into Latin America.
  • Mexico’s central bank turns to Amazon for public mobile payment system.
  • Banco Bolivariano of Ecuador deploys mobile banking technology from Diebold Nixdorf.

Asia-Pacific

  • TurnKey Lender locks in new investment from OSK Ventures.
  • United Overseas Bank (UOB) of Singapore launches its Smart Business Transformation Programme for SMEs in Thailand.
  • Malaysia’s Maybank introduces its e-wallet service for cashless payments.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Veridium teams up with Blue Turtle Technologies to drive deployment of biometric technology in Africa.
  • Nigeria’s United Bank for Africa (UBA) goes live in the U.K.
  • People’s Bank of Zanzibar launches new core banking system with technology from ICSFS.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Russia’s Alfa-Bank joins Marco Polo Network to offer blockchain-based trade and supply chain finance services to its clients.
  • Kontomatik earns license from Bank of Lithuania to operate as an AISP in 11 EU countries.
  • Palestine Islamic Bank to deploy Temenos Infinity and Temenos T24 systems as part of its digital transformation efforts.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Al Taif Islamic Bank to deploy Sharia-compliant, core banking technology from Finastra, Fusion Islamic.
  • Working group supported by TheCityUK and Turkish stock exchange Borsa Istanbul launch joint effort to promote Islamic fintech solutions.
  • Scoop Empire looks at the UAE’s role in foster innovation in fintech, especially with AI.

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Europe Bets on Bug Bounties, HackerOne to Fight Fraud.

Around the web

  • The Fintech Times reviews identity verification innovator Onfido in the wake of its “strongest year to date.”
  • Infosys Finacle to partner with Santander U.K., facilitating the integration of cash management solutions into existing ERP systems.
  • Diebold Nixdorf names Jeffrey Rutherford as its new permanent Chief Financial Officer, Julian Sparkes as SVP and Chief Digital Officer, and Hermann Wimmer as SVP, Global Retail.
  • Cloud Wars with Bob Evans interviews Q2 CIO Lou Senko.
  • Chesapeake Bank’s alternative lending division, Cash Flow, adds the Commercial Lending Center Suite from Jack Henry & Associates‘ ProfitStars division.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Five Degrees Teams Up with ieDigital to Launch Digital Banking Portfolio.
  • Sezzle’s $100 Million Line of Credit to Fuel Delayed Payment Tool.

Around the web

  • LoanScorecard unveils SimpleCECL, its solution for loan-level analyses for Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL).
  • Onfido wins 7th place in Deloitte’s 11 fastest growing tech companies in the U.K. roster.
  • OutSystems earns recognition in two categories of the 2018 Gartner Peer Insights Customers Choice reviews: Mobile App Development Platforms and Enterprise High-Productivity Application Platform as a Service (HPaPaaS).
  • Payment Ninja introduces new invoice management feature of its platform.
  • Diebold Nixdorf inks Memorandum of Understanding with Europol to boost cybersecurity knowledge sharing.
  • Entersekt announces plans to expand to Nordic region.
  • RightCapital partners with Commonwealth.
  • Onfido, Azimo, TransferWise, and Kantox earn spots on Deloitte U.K.’s Fast 50.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Diebold Nixdorf Receives $650 Million Capital Commitment

Financial services, software, and hardware provider Diebold Nixdorf secured a commitment of $650 million in capital this week. The loan is coming from two unidentified, institutional lenders and repayment is due in August 2022.

The Ohio-based company will use the loan to acquire remaining shares of Diebold Nixdorf, repay debt, and fund its DN Now operational improvement plan. The loan is expected to be completed within the coming days.

Bloomberg reported earlier this month that the company may be experiencing a “potential liquidity crisis” and that “Diebold is trying to negotiate easier terms with its lenders, the second change in four months, to allow for greater leverage in its debt covenants.”

Diebold Nixdorf demoed on the Finovate stage alongside Zenmonics at FinovateFall 2014, showcasing an in-lobby terminal. Founded in 1859, the company is partnered with almost all of the world’s top 100 banks and most of the top 25 global retailers. Diebold Nixdorf’s employees help bring solutions to more than 130 countries.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Diebold Nixdorf Receives $650 Million Capital Commitment.
  • Mint Brings User Interface into 2018.
  • A Framework for Your 2019 Fintech Strategy.

Around the web

  • Mitek announces departure of CEO Jim DeBello.
  • The SaaS Report recognizes bpm’online CEO and managing partner, Katherine Kostereva, as one of its Top 50 SaaS CEOs of 2018.
  • ACI Worldwide integrates with tax filing technology firm, SPAN Enterprises.
  • Modo teams up with Etihad Airways to build loyalty solution for airline industry.
  • Vera welcomes Carlos Delatorre as CEO.
  • Temenos launches Temenos Learning Community Engine.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Payworks to Fuel New Point of Sale Tool for Bambora.
  • Roostify Enhances Customization with New Adapt Tool
  • Check out today’s FinovateFall Sneak Peeks:

Around the web

  • Seasons FCU selects online and mobile banking technology from Bankjoy.
  • Customer experience specialist Truphone partners with Verifone.
  • AlphaPoint taps Sri Manda as its new Chief Information Security Officer.
  • RegTech Supplier Performance Report ranks Trulioo’s GlobalGateway as top ID verification tool for third consecutive year.
  • Telenor pioneers Norwegian Open AI Lab.
  • WSJ features LendUp’s focus on subprime lending.
  • Diebold Nixdorf hires advisers to seek a sale.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.